Clients Who Inspire Us
January 29, 2018 // by Katie Morgan
Every day we are inspired by our amazing clients who are working their way out of extreme poverty. Meet three of these remarkable individuals who are creating opportunity for themselves, their families, and their communities. It is client stories from Caroline, Ben, Proscovia, and so many more that are made possible by incredible supporters like you!
When Proscovia Kiweewa approached Opportunity for support for her coffee farm in Uganda, she wanted to learn how to better manage her business. By joining a local Trust Group, she received a loan and learned how diversifying her crops could streamline her income—which inspired her to begin planting pineapple in addition to coffee. Since the loan repayment schedule was built with farmers in mind, Proscovia was able to repay her loan after she harvested and sold her crops. Armed with a better understanding of finances and business, Proscovia has steadily grown her farm and is proud of the example she is setting for her children.
My biggest dream is to see my children graduate. I want a better life for them and my family. I am grateful to Opportunity for good services and for a payment schedule that fits my business.
Proscovia’s success sparked a newfound confidence, driving her to run for—and win—an elected position in her community council! She has shown us that leaders often just need their opportunity to shine. She has become a role model for her children, who are witnessing their mom accomplish her goals and starting to pursue her dreams, too. Looking toward her children's future, Proscovia puts their education as a top priority. She is sending her children to a better school and dreams to see them graduate and pursue their life goals.
As a child, Ben grew up in extreme poverty in Malawi—his parents were unable to afford to keep him in school and he dropped out after completing seventh grade. Without a high school education, Ben ended up working as a bus driver. But he knew that he was destined for more—he was ready to do anything he could to continue his education on his own. Ben studied and earned his junior certificate, then graduated from teacher’s training college and began teaching at secondary schools. As his experience in the school system deepened, he overflowed with ideas of how to improve curriculums and give children a better education. It was time to branch out on his own.
I like knowing my learners by name. They know me and I know them.
In 2003, Ben took a big risk and turned the living room of his house into a small school, welcoming seven students that he taught on his own for free. As word spread in his community, his school began to grow. With assistance from Opportunity, Ben was able to secure his own building, add classrooms, and dream big for his community. Today, his primary and secondary school employs 37 teachers and staff and accommodates 900 students!
We are so inspired by Ben’s drive to serve his community and love his students. When he walks through the school grounds, kids clamor to walk by his side and hold his hands. Even with so many kids, Ben makes it a point to know all of his students’ names. He is empowering the next generation of young learners!
Caroline Musoke’s journey reminds us that sometimes the most inspiring stories aren't finished. For several years, she has sold fruits and vegetables in the local market in Uganda. As the primary provider for her four grandchildren, she had dreams for herself and for the children. Caroline knew the only way they would be able to achieve those dreams would be to receive an education, and to do that she would need to make as much money at her food stand as possible. But when a fire ravaged the market and completely destroyed her stall, Caroline was left with nothing.
I don’t want to leave them like that. I have to fulfill my duties since I am still living. I want to see my grandchildren finish university.
As an Opportunity client, she has been able to lean on her fellow Trust Group members and our staff during what is a terrifying and exhausting time. She is fighting to rebuild her business in order to keep her grandchildren in school, and Opportunity will be alongside her every step of the way. Caroline's determination and resilience serves as an inspiration for us and for her grandchildren, who will grow to understand even the biggest of setbacks can be overcome with perseverance.