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Photo Journey of Meeting Microfinance Clients in Rwanda and Uganda

By Opportunity supporter Fred of Hillsborough, Calif.

The child of a client in Kampala, Uganda.Uganda- A young girl welcomes an Opportunity International visitor from the floor of her father’s shop in a Kampala market. Her young father is an enterprising entrepreneur and Trust Group member who runs a small boutique that sells both new and old clothes, mattresses, and small luggage. Business is good, he reports, and he is looking to expand his business. With his ingenuity, hard work and business savvy, along with Opportunity’s loans, he has good reason to be optimistic about his family’s future.

The daughter of a Rwandan dairy farmer client.Rwanda- What does the future hold for this daughter of a Rwandan farmer living in poverty?

After surviving the genocide, and being given a single cow, the mother and her family slowly have been rebuilding their lives as subsistence dairy farmers, with the help of an Opportunity microloan. Life is hard as all the water and food for the cow must be brought in manually each day on a bicycle or by walking, carrying the burden of heavy water containers for a great distance.

Still, there is optimism about the future. The single cow has given birth to three additional cows, two of which the family has kept. The opportunity for improvements in productivity are great, and there is hope for the future.

A Trust Group meeting in the village of Nyamata, Rwanda.Rwanda- At a Trust Group meeting, an Opportunity client in the rural agricultural village of Nyamata describes how her microloan and the Trust Group have transformed her life by allowing her to buy land, build a house, feed her children, provide schooling, and achieve dignity for herself in her community.

She says that the lessons her loan officer has given her on running a business are very helpful and that her community of friends in the Trust Group give her support and encouragement, helping her solve problems and looking toward the future.

Several of the members of this Trust Group were widowed by the genocide. We saw a monument to the victims on the road, a short distance outside of town.

Opportunity supporter Fred of Hillsborough, Calif. writes of his journey traveling with fellow supporters and Opportunity staff on an Insight Trip to Rwanda and Uganda in August to see firsthand the impact of our Banking on Africa campaign.

Stay tuned to the Opportunity Blog for more from the Banking on Africa travelers.

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