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News Blog

Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Teach me and I will understand.

by John Wayman

Eighteen hours ago, I was one of 10 students from Northern Illinois University preparing to embark on a trip to Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, to learn more about and study in depth the elements that comprise the principles of microfinance.  Eighteen hours later, my peers and I have witnessed firsthand the power and the genuine passion that fuels microfinance. Words do not begin to describe the feelings and emotions that I felt within myself and amongst my peers and the Opportunity…

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This Christmas, Give the Gift that Keeps Giving

by Ian Haisley

This holiday, OptINnow introduces a great gift idea for all the people on your gift list – even the impossible ones! OptINnow gift cards are a simple and thoughtful way to engage friends, family and business associates in changing the world. When you give an OptINnow gift card, you are helping to end global poverty faster, one loan at a time. Your gift will empower entrepreneurs to start or build businesses so they can work their way out of poverty and achieve their dreams to feed, house and provide…

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Gender Integration highlighted at USAID Administrator Confirmation Hearing

by Ruth-Anne Renaud

We are pleased to share that on Wednesday, December 2nd at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Confirmation Hearing for Dr. Rajiv Shah, the nominee for USAID Administrator, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) posed a a question to Dr. Shah on gender integration, and specifically asked for Dr. Shah’s commitment to carry out gender integration as part of U.S. foreign assistance.   Please see below for an excerpt from Senator Cardin’s remarks as well as Dr. Shah’s response to his question. Also, please…

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My Life Changing Experience: What I learned from a Woman Leader

by Darcy St. John

Yesterday was life-changing. I could write a book about this one part of my visit to Nicaragua, so describing it in a few paragraphs is going to be a challenge. I’ll start at the beginning. The main reason for our visit to Nicaragua was to interview a woman for the book my mom and I are writing together. How Strong Women Lead, which will come out in 2011, will feature women of all backgrounds – famous, unheard of, and everything in between – who are leaders of their community or even the known…

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#MifiMon: Women and Microfinance

by Sheethal Shobowale

The following is a guest post by Sheethal Shobowale, Kiva Fellow at MFIs Asociación Arariwa in Cusco, Peru and Emprenderin La Paz, Bolivia starting in January. Interested in learning about microfinance? Follow our biweekly Twitter discussion group #mifimon (because Microfinance Mondays was too long for Twitter’s 140-character limit). Our aim is to host an exchange of ideas about issues relevant to the microfinance industry. You’re welcome to lend your voice, whether you’re a practitioner in…

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World AIDS Day: Lending Hope to Africa

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

AIDS continues to devastate sub-Saharan Africa. Thirty million people have died already, leaving 14 million orphans behind. Without decisive action, millions more will die, at the rate of over 6,600 a day. This figure is likely to increase because of the 9,500 new daily infections in Africa alone. Today marks World AIDS Day. The day is meant to raise awareness on behalf of those living with the disease, on behalf of those fighting for a cure and on behalf of those left behind by the pandemic. There…

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Shalom… the way things ought to be.

by David M. Knibbe

While in Ghana a week ago, I visited the Peace International School. In this particular location just outside of Sunyani, Opportunity International and IDP Foundation Rising Schools are partnering to provide financial services and training to the private school’s proprietor so she can offer a quality education to more children living in poverty. Our clients continue to remind us that their children’s education is one of their top priorities.  They tell us that their hope for the future is…

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#Mifimon Preview: Women and Microfinance

by Amy Carol Wolff

Next week we have the privilege of discussing how microfinance is changing the lives of women around the world. We’ve got a pretty dynamic panel coming to this as well. Below, you’ll find their bios and thus, have the chance to learn more about them as we prepare for next week. We look forward to talking with you next Monday from 12pm-2pm CST! Spread the word! Panelist: Ruth-Anne Renaud (rarenaud), Vice President of Women’s Philanthropy and Interactive Marketing,Opportunity International Ruth-Anne…

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With a Grateful Heart I: Mrs. Jabalasa’s Potatoes and Promise

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

This year as we stock up on pumpkin and pecans, cook our Thanksgiving meals and recount our blessings, I am reminded of those who provide their communities with food. In particular, I’m thinking of an Opportunity International client with a food retail business who has found security in financial services this year. Mrs. Jabalasa has a successful potato business in Malawi. She wakes up early each morning to arrive at the Blantyre Market by 4:30 a.m. She stacks her potatoes and takes her place…

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Voices of the Poor – Parmila Das

by Steve Nelson

The landmark Voices of the Poor study, published by the World Bank in 2000, sought the opinions and testimony of 60,000 of the world’s poor through information gathered in small discussion groups. Parmila Das was one participant profiled in the study. She lived in India and was a widow with two young children. She struggled to survive after her husband’s illness and death drained the family’s last few assets. The family derived its income from the following irregular sources: The children collected…

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