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Celebrating All Women on Mother's Day

By Diane Ferguson

While Opportunity International exists to empower people—especially women—to improve their lives, we did not pioneer the concept. Since the beginning of time, mothers and grandmothers have been naturally wired to instinctively know what their children need to survive and thrive. They are also wired to acquire those things above all else. I have learned so much about being a mom of grace from Opportunity moms.

A few weeks ago, I became a first-time grandma or “mhamo.” I fretted over my daughter and her baby’s health. I fretted about whether I could be a great mhamo without my late husband by my side—we had imagined growing old and grandparenting together. I see myself as a matriarchal safety net to my children and my granddaughter, and yet this teeny, tiny, swaddled babe has only one surviving grandparent in this great big world—reducing her safety net to the size of a butterfly net. I felt the weight of my worries threaten to swallow my feelings of wonder and joy at God’s blessing for my family.

I prayed, and God answered. He reminded me that I have His grace. Now, to become a grandma who lives out the epitome of grace—how does that look? To me, it looks like millions of moms and grandmas who Opportunity is privileged to call our clients. So many examples of strong moms came to mind, and one mom, in particular, stood out—Marie Rose Nyirahabiman.

I was widowed and beyond poor. My husband left his farm to me, yet I was not educated in the modern farming ways. I was lost and alone. Then, I found Opportunity. I knew I would be able to support my children and grandchildren. 

Corn farmer Marie Rose is a mom who exhibits grace in all she does, especially during the hard times. Until two years ago, she ran a farm that failed to produce a bountiful crop. When her husband died suddenly, Marie Rose could no longer afford the diabetes medication that was so critical to her health. She quickly fell into a very dark and frightening place. Grieving and in need of sound advice, she found answers when a friend invited her to join an Opportunity Trust Group in Rwanda.

Marie Rose invested Opportunity loans to purchase high-quality seeds and fertilizers. In no time, she was not only growing enough corn to store for her family, but she was also producing plenty to sell at the market. The increased income has transformed her ability to manage her illness, support her children and grandchildren, and even help orphans through her church.

Filled with new-found confidence, Marie Rose is sure to reach her goals: create jobs for local laborers, install a toilet and electricity in her home, feed her family nutritious meals, and send her grandkids to school. Marie Rose is positively intrepid; she faces the future with courage, faith, and grace. She traded in the darkness of fear and worry for a bright future filled with hope.

Marie Rose is an empowered mother and grandmother. She is Opportunity!

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