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Celebrating Women Helping Women

By Deborah Bowker

This weekend, we celebrate Mother’s Day and the women in our lives who love, nurture, and empower us to reach our full potential.

At Opportunity International, we recognize the remarkable power of one woman to change the world. That’s why we founded the Women’s Opportunity Network, a community of dynamic trailblazers, corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists committed to helping Opportunity International empower women to improve their lives, strengthen their families and enhance their communities. WON includes leaders like Opportunity Global Ambassador Carly Fiorina, Governor Chair and entrepreneur Karen Robinson Cope and Opportunity CEO Vicki Escarra, who share a commitment to empowering one woman at a time.

The fact is 70 percent of the 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day are women and girls. That’s a sobering statistic that demands action. Of the five million clients served by Opportunity International in 20 countries, 93 percent are women and 98 percent of their loans are repaid. Funds raised by WON benefit Opportunity International’s One Woman Initiative, which seeks to raise $50 million by 2015 to empower an additional two million women to work their way out of poverty through financial resources, education and training.

We’re motivated by women, like Felicitus Mmboge, an Opportunity International client who saved enough money to open a beauty products business then used a loan from Opportunity to purchase inventory. She also keeps chickens and sells the eggs to help pay school fees for her three children and an orphaned niece.

And then there is Betty Mulooki, a sugar cane farmer who would sell any extra food—a rare occurrence—in the nearby market for money to help support her family. When a sugar cane factory was established in her village, she signed on to cultivate three acres. With a small business loan from Opportunity, she has since expanded her operation to six acres. And Betty intends to expand further to generate a larger income and help her children finish school.

This Mother’s Day you can celebrate the special women in your life with something more meaningful. You can extend your mother’s love and compassion around the world with a donation to The One Woman Initiative in honor of her or your grandmother, sister, aunt or friend. Your Mother’s Day donation will transform the lives of hundreds of women and families across generations.

Please join us in helping mothers around the world make improve their life and strengthen their family and communities.

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