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Opportunity LiveBlog: “I cannot make my payment”

By Sonja Egeland Kelly

Today conference attendees gathered into groups of 10, and each took on a new identity. They became Opportunity International loan recipients, each with a unique situation. In the middle of the Trust Group simulation, they discovered something challenging: one of the members, Edif, could not pay her loan.

The president of each Trust Groups alerted the group to the situation at hand: “The Trust Group acknowledges that Edif is unable to pay her portion of the group loan. Because it is her first default, policy prevents her from taking the amount from her Opportunity savings account. If we are unable to repay it in full today, we will all be in default, and will not be able to get another group loan. Therefore, it’s our problem now, not just Edif’s. Edif, you are among friends, and we are here to help one another. Let’s discuss how we can best handle this.”

Conference attendees brainstormed about possible solutions to the problem at hand, and came up with a few creative solutions: going after those customers who have not paid for the goods that Edif supplied, giving Edif food so that she would have reduced costs the next week and even pooling their money to cover Edif’s portion.

Ultimately, the group was able to repay the loan, and conference attendees discovered the nuances of loan repayment, especially in a group setting. They also learned more about community, and about supporting one another even when life’s challenges seem great.

Well done Opportunity clients, for your success in repaying your loan this week!

What would you do if you were in a Trust Group and someone could not repay their loan?

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