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© 2022 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

News Blog

Untapped Potential, Enormous Opportunities

by Allison Kooser

Nestled along the Atlantic coast in West Africa, Ghana is a diverse and vibrant country. It’s home to farmers and families; merchants and makers; dreamers and doers. And, like much of sub-Saharan Africa, it struggles with economic poverty.  Nearly 30% of Ghanaians rely upon agriculture to survive, and some 13% live on less than $1.90. It’s a beautiful country with more than its fair share of challenges.  And it’s also a country with incredible potential.  The untapped potential of today…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Joanna

by Opportunity International

We are lucky to have angels like Joanna in our midst—people who live solely to make their communities a better place. Here, on the left, is Joanna with some of the children in her school. Joanna started her school here in Ghana in a rural area where children just stayed at home, and the illiteracy rate is very high. She said her school gave the parents the freedom to go to their farms during the day to make enough money and make a living for their families. Not only did she provide an education,…

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‘WHEN YOU EDUCATE A GIRL, YOU EDUCATE THE WHOLE COMMUNITY’ - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2022

by Catherine O'Shea

This blog was originally published on edufinance.org   ‘Time to break the bias’ is the theme of International Women’s Day 2022. This year we are putting a spotlight on one of the many inspiring female leaders we have the privilege to work with. In this profile interview we discuss the many challenges faced in empowering girls to learn and push back against stereotypes by involving the whole community in the education of girls. Helen Musyoka is the proud owner and school leader of Mountain…

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A new work by an Opportunity author

by Allison Kooser

This month, we’re so excited to bring you our latest Opportunity Book Club pick!   Strong Connections: Stories of Resilience from the Far Reaches of the Mobile Phone Revolution features the stories of Opportunity clients and is written by our dear friend and former colleague Rosa Wang.  Wang served as Opportunity’s Global Director for Digital Financial Services, where she developed a digital strategy to connect clients with life-changing technology.   In her new book, she shares her story…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Student

by Opportunity International

Today, a girl in Uganda is four times more likely to have a baby, than have a high school diploma before reaching adulthood. For her, the future is not full of hope, but it’s filled with worry and uncertainty. Education is the most powerful way to break free from the cycle of poverty. But the ability to go to school is a whole different story in rural areas. Most of them travel long, exhausting distances just to go to school. Just like this girl here, making her way from her farm to her school.…

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Life on the Margins: Meeting the Unique Needs of Refugees and Students in Uganda

by Allison Kooser

On the edge of the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda, Senga Ndagize tills the land on his small farm. He lets the dirt sift through his fingers—dirt that is not his; dirt that doesn’t hold his history; dirt that holds hope and possibility; dirt that could give his family a bright future. Senga Ndagize (left) working the land at the Nakivale Refugee Settlement. Senga arrived in Uganda in 2006 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He and his wife are two of the 1.5 million refugees who…

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A Lesson in Love from Gene Gardner

by Opportunity International

Gene Gardner and his wife Mary Kay, have long been philanthropists. Even as newlyweds, they put their passion for helping others into action by starting to budget for charitable gifts. Gene and his wife, Mary Kay, at their wedding Over the years, they tried to give as much as possible to as many charities as they could. But soon, the pile of requests grew too steep to fund everything, so they shifted their approach to giving large gifts to a few select charities. In order to ensure their gifts made…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Gentil

by Opportunity International

Gentil is an artist who escaped from Burundi. He used to run workshops for young artists and was accused by the government of training rebel soldiers so he had to flee. He now lives with his grandmother and nephews, who he supports in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement. Gentil, just like any other refugees, faced challenges of access to finance and income opportunities in the settlement. However, through our partner bank, he received a small loan. He used his loan to set up a local portrait business.…

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Program Manager in the Field: 3 Defining Insights from my Trip to Uganda

by Kyle Fiechter

How can a non-profit work with social enterprises to reduce poverty? When I visited Opportunity’s operations in Uganda in November, this question loomed in my mind—I was curious to discover the best ways Opportunity International could continue to work with our implementing partner, Opportunity Bank Uganda, Ltd. (OBUL), to design sustainable solutions for underserved communities. As program manager for the region, I was eager to see our partnership in action on the ground. From left to right:…

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A memoir of a life across continents

by Allison Kooser

This month, the Opportunity Book Club is traveling across countries and continents through Nadia Owusu’s powerful memoir, Aftershocks. Owusu, born to a Ghanaian father and Armenian-American mother, bounced from place to place as a child—living in Italy, Uganda, England, and Tanzania all before she reached adulthood. Her life was defined by movement, instability, and profound loss; her mother left when she was two, and her father died when she was 13. Left to be raised by her stepmother, Owusu…

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