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News Blog

Your next summer read: His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

by Allison Kooser

As summer heats up, we’re planning vacations, getting into adventures, and diving into great novels. This month, join us as we read the story of a plucky young Ghanaian seamstress as she navigates social and familial pressure to get married and be the perfect wife.  Our July Opportunity Book Club selection is His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie.  When her mother convinces her to marry a successful businessman she’s never met, Medie’s heroine, Afi, must decide if she wants to become the…

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50 for 50: Journeying from Client to Advisor

by Berta Regina Sierra Aguas

My name is Berta Regina Sierra Aguas, and I am 52 years old. I live with my husband, my two sons, my daughter-in-law, and my two grandchildren in Soledad, Atlántico—a municipality an hour and a half from the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. With God's help, we now have a big, beautiful home. Most of my time is dedicated to my work at AGAPE—Opportunity International's partner in Colombia—but I like to spend my free time with my family, especially my grandchildren. I first heard about Opportunity…

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50 for 50: Bringing Health Insurance to Those Who Need It Most

by Richard Leftley

In 2004, Richard Leftley wrote a white paper outlining the severe risks the HIV/AIDS crisis presented for Opportunity International Trust Groups. He proposed a new, creative solution: very small insurance policies for Opportunity International’s clients. Originally, these microinsurance policies were designed to cover a client’s loan balance and, in some cases, funeral expenses, should a Trust Group member pass away. This simple-but-revolutionary concept became MicroEnsure, the world’s first…

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50 for 50: YAO Memories

by Allison Kooser

In 2008, a group of young philanthropists came together in support of Opportunity International. They were so impressed by the model and inspired by the clients that they decided to build a community that would help them introduce even more friends to the organization—Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO) was born. Through local chapters in cities around the United States, Young Ambassadors were able to build relationships, educate their peers about microfinance and development, encourage friends…

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50 for 50: Investing in Agriculture: Celebrating Jane and Peter Nelson

by Opportunity International

In the early 2000s, Opportunity International began working on a new program to meet the unique needs of rural families. The goal was to provide targeted, finance-based solutions to help farmers transform their small farms into more productive and effective enterprises. Opportunity officially launched its Agriculture Finance (AgFinance) program in 2008 to help end the cycle of low-productivity farming in rural African countries. By giving farmers access to seeds and fertilizer, connections to buyers,…

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Revisiting one of the Book Club’s favorite authors

by Allison Kooser

“This is a book that contains very few numbers,” said Hans Rosling of his memoir. “Instead, it is about meeting people who have opened my eyes.” Rosling, a world-renowned physician and data analyst, authored one of our most popular book club picks ever (June 2018), Factfulness. So when his family released his posthumous memoir earlier this spring, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. This month, join us as we read How I Learned to Understand the World by Hans Rosling, with Fanny Härgestam.…

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50 for 50: Origin Stories - Eastern Europe

by Linda Vander Weele

Our Family’s History In the mid-1980s, our family’s global interest was growing. We had recently adopted two Japanese daughters when former board chair Dave Hardin introduced us to microfinance and Opportunity International in 1987. That year, we took an Opportunity Insight Trip to Guatemala and Costa Rica—and I was invited to join the U.S. board. I suggested a “2-for-1 deal” that would also include my husband, Ken. In 1990, we organized and led our own Insight Trip to Guatemala and Costa…

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50 for 50: Honoring World Hunger Day

by Opportunity International

In May 1971, thousands of people across the United States gathered in their communities for walks organized and coordinated by the American Freedom From Hunger Foundation—an organization that would go on to aid the United Nations Freedom From Hunger Campaign (NYT). Some people chose to run long distances, and others walked for hours behind them. The energy resembled the exhausted joy we now associate with modern charity walks. When the event took place in the early 1970s, nearly 35% of those living…

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Extraordinary Situations Demand Extraordinary Responses: Updates on the COVID Crisis in India

by Atul Tandon

As the world is slowly opening up here at home, my friends and colleagues in India are facing the world's worst coronavirus outbreak yet. Countless families, including mine, have lost loved ones over the past few weeks. It's a devastating blow that comes on the heels of an impossible year. This current crisis comes in a season when we are all longing for hope. We are weary, and our faith has been stretched beyond what we ever could have imagined. For months, we have been talking about the  mutually…

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50 for 50: Origin Stories - Latin America

by Opportunity International

In 1971, Opportunity International made its first loan to Colombian entrepreneur Carlos Moreno. Since that fateful first relationship, we have continued to provide access to loans, high-quality education, and financial training to thousands of entrepreneurs like Carlos. For 50 years, we have worked in Latin America, meeting families’ needs and building a community of support for our clients. We recently connected with Leddy “Mitzi” Machado Ariza, a long-time Opportunity Colombia staff member…

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