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News Blog

Opportunity EduFinance in Nigeria: Past, Present, and Future

by Catherine O’Shea, Maham Khuhro and Wiktoria Gucia

This blog was originally published on edufinance.org. Nigeria has more children currently out of school than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated 13.2 million not currently in any form of education. Transition rates from primary to secondary level reveal that less than half of children at this age - only 43% - have the opportunity to continue their education. With a national fertility rate of 5.3, the demand for education access in Nigeria will only continue to grow, increasing pressure…

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Opportunity in Nigeria's Schools

by Allison Kooser

At the beginning of 2022, Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon and Head of Education Finance Andrew McCusker reminded us of one of the most severe long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic: “Education is one of the best tools we have to break the cycle of poverty,” they wrote. “But millions of children are at risk of never returning to the classroom. The challenge we face as a global community is figuring out how to get these children back in the classroom as soon as possible—and improving…

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Running with some of the fastest people in the world

by Allison Kooser

You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy our Opportunity Book Club pick this August—but if you are, Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia by Michael Crawley may change the way you think about your jogs forever. For fifteen months, Crawley lived and trained alongside Ethiopian runners, who historically hold six of the top ten fastest marathon times ever. He woke up at 3 a.m. for runs around Addis Ababa, endured long miles in the forest, and even joined the runners…

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What I'm Reading this Summer

by Atul Tandon

This summer has been one marked by remarkable world events and the continuing battle against COVID-19. CEO Atul Tandon shares the top articles and books he has read so far this summer:    Progress to eradicate global hunger is stalling The Economist This article is such an important reminder that despite the progress we have made, the past few years have been devastating for families in extreme poverty. In many cases, decades of improvement are now stalled—or moving in the wrong direction. “In…

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Growing Resilience and Recovery

by Allison Kooser

“We can’t control the weather.” It’s a phrase we’ve all heard, but one that is especially poignant for those who depend on agriculture to survive. For farmers, disruptions in the weather can change their livelihoods—and their lives. And for subsistence farmers—those who rely on farming to feed themselves and their family—a single crop, a single storm, or a single season could decide whether their children attend school or have enough to eat. For these families, the inability to control…

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Never too old for a children’s book

by Allison Kooser

The best children’s books resonate with us as adults, too—and that’s what makes our July Opportunity Book Club pick so special. In Home of the Brave, Katherine Applegate introduces us to Kek, a young Sudanese refugee. We join him as he navigates the challenges of a Minnesota winter and a new life in the United States alone. Kek was separated from his mother in an African refugee camp, and he must make sense of both a new place and the trauma of his past while he waits to learn his mother’s…

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Governor Spotlight: Paul Lilienthal

by Opportunity International

The idea of compelling missions work was a critical part of what drew Paul Lilienthal to Christ Presbyterian Church in 2017. But as he sat through a presentation on Opportunity International, he had no way of knowing the enormous role this organization would come to play in his life—and vice versa. As a former banker, the financial services component of Opportunity’s model made a lot of sense to him. And as the owner of Pictura Graphics, a printing company in Minneapolis, the idea of helping…

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We're Moving

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International’s U.S. headquarters are moving—we’re still in Chicago but at a new address! Drumroll… 101 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150Chicago, IL 60606 Download Contact Card Our U.S.-based staff is looking forward to setting up shop at our new location. Just as before, our office space will continue to be an inspiring place for our Opportunity International community to work, brainstorm, problem-solve and create opportunities for people living in extreme poverty. FAQ Where should…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Micheline

by Opportunity International

Women are not respected yet here. They don’t value us. For women to be valued, we will need support. I used to face so many difficulties with paying the technical fees to the school. My kids couldn’t go to school because they just tell them to come back home. “If you don’t bring the fee, don’t come back until you have it.” Sometimes we used to starve. We didn’t even have sugar to take tea. We just slept like that and would eat tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve seen a bank coming…

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Investing in Limitless Possibilities: Extreme poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

by Allison Kooser

Extreme poverty limits the future. A family’s economic condition not only determines their immediate experiences—things like inadequate housing, poor health outcomes, and a dearth of educational opportunities—but also their imagined possibilities; their ability to design a better than the life they have now. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Bank estimates that 73% of the population lives in this condition, known as extreme poverty—which is defined as living on less…

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