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News Blog

A Virtual Walk Alongside the Women’s Insight Trip to Uganda

by Susan Gillette

Women’s Opportunity Network (WON) member Susan Gillette shares her excitement about the upcoming “Mothers, Daughters and Sisters” Insight Trip to Uganda, offering a unique, virtual way for everyone to join in. I had hoped to go on the Uganda Women’s Insight Trip with my daughters, Maggie and Lindsay, but they couldn’t get away from work. But the good news is that we are going to be walking alongside the women on this trip “virtually.” We’ll be able to keep up with the trip through…

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Women of the Congo: Bringing Hope through Microfinance

by Emily Riemer

“It is a war that men have provoked, but women have paid the highest price.” These are the words of a UN peacekeeper in Lisa Jackson’s award-winning documentary, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, a film about the violence and violation faced by women living in the war-torn eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo over the last decade. On Monday night, nearly 100 guests attended a screening of the documentary film, followed by a question-and-answer session with three members…

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Opportunity Ghana launches a mobile bank

by Emily Riemer

“We have realized that many of our customers are travelling between 50 and 100 km [between 30 and 60 miles] to access banking services,” says Effie Cook, head of HR at Opportunity Ghana. “So we have focused our energies on developing innovative delivery channels that serve the needs of the marginalized and reach out to the many deprived rural areas of Ghana.” To address the needs of its clients, Opportunity Ghana has just launched a mobile banking facility, an event that was reported by the…

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A Progress Report on the UN Millennium Development Goals

by Opportunity International

In September of 2000, the United Nations addressed the issue of global poverty by adopting the Millennium Declaration. The declaration pledged the members to accomplish measurable goals to eradicate global poverty by the year 2015. The Millennium Development Goals focus on eight areas of concern, including poverty and hunger, universal education, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS prevention. With the deadline now only five years away, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called upon world leaders…

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The Top 5 Opportunity Blog Posts

by Opportunity International

Revisit Opportunity‘s five most popular blog posts from the past month. Got a comment? Share it with us in the comment field below. 1. UN Secretary-General Visits Opportunity Malawi Mobile Bank (6/02/10) 2. Food & Microfinance: Helping Farmers Reap Rewards (6/02/10) 3. Meeting the Grandfather of Microfinance (5/25/10) 4. Cell Phone Banking Technology Comes to Opportunity Malawi (5/19/10) 5. “Building Social Business” with Muhammad Yunus (5/24/10) Check back in regularly with the blog to stay…

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YAO meets Ken Vander Weele at the Microfinance Club of New York

by Michelle Mak

YAO-NY core member Michelle Mak shares with us this report from last night’s panel at the Microfinance Club of New York. Last night, YAO-New York members (and YAO-Boston visitors) met Ken Vander Weele, the CEO of the Opportunity International Global Leadership Team, at a Microfinance Club of New York panel, “Africa: The Microfinance Landscape.” Ken was part of a panel discussing challenges and opportunities in Africa, along with Donna Katzin (executive director of Shared Interest, a social…

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What YAO is reading: Portfolios of the Poor

by Opportunity International

Last night, at Noble Tree cafe in Lincoln Park, YAO-Chicago held a book discussion for Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day. If you missed it, never fear. There will be more book discussions in YAO‘s future. In fact, we may have a followup to the discussion of Portfolios, a book so seminal that at the Chicago Microfinance Conference in May, Tim Ogden, editor-in-chief of Philanthropy Action, insisted, “If you’re serious about the microfinance industry, you must…

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Crop Insurance: Protecting Farmers Against the Effects of Climate Change

by Opportunity International

A recent UPI wire story, which highlights Opportunity International’s weather-index crop insurance, hails microinsurance as an exciting new tool to help communities in the developing world face the worst impacts of climate change. The article, “Insuring the world’s poor against climate change,” quotes the UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security‘s Koko Warner as saying, “Because of things like location, education and life expectancy, the world’s poor are a lot more…

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Saying Good-Bye to the People of Uganda

by Alexandra Arch

Today we have entered the town of Jinja. After heavy overnight rains, the central market offers us a muddy, puddle-jumping adventure. Stalls overflowing with fruits, vegetables, clothing, music and more are stacked one on top of another in an attempt to avoid the mud. The colors of the stalls and their contents are as vibrant as the smells are potent. Our mission is to find the businesses owned by members of the local Trust Group. Our first stop is the stall owned by a soft-spoken seamstress who…

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Opportunity International’s MicroEnsure Named Runner-up

by Opportunity International

Congratulations to Opportunity International’s subsidiary MicroEnsure, which has been named runner-up for the 2010 Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award for Banking at the Base of the Pyramid. MicroEnsure was recognized for its successful health insurance product serving the low-income market in India. This was the first product in India to provide coverage for maternity and pre-existing illnesses from the first day of the policy and allows premiums to be paid in flexible installments. The…

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