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Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

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© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

News Blog

Check out a genre-defying memoir this month

by Allison Kooser

This month, we’re checking all of our genre boxes with a lyrical memoir that blends one family’s stories with Columbia’s turbulent political history. It’s a nonfiction reflection that reads like a fiction novel—so we think every reader will find something to enjoy! Join us as we dive into Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ The Man Who Could Move Clouds! Raised in Colombia in the 80s and 90s by a fortune-telling mother, Rojas Contreras (who also wrote our 2019 Book Club selection, Fruit of the Drunken…

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Lessons Learned from Jimmy Carter

by Atul Tandon

  As a leader, neighbor, father, citizen, humanitarian, and friend, I am always looking for inspiring people who have run the race well before me—people whose stories and experiences can serve as encouragement or education as I continue my own work. And for years, I’ve been inspired by the legacy of President Jimmy Carter. Carter is one of my personal heroes. An uncommon man, he has lived a life dedicated to the common good—and has taught me so much about leading from a place of deep faith,…

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Creating Sustainable Communities through Climate Resilience

by Kelli Walker

In March 2023, Cyclone Freddy hit southern Malawi, creating floods and landslides that tragically caused over 1,000 deaths—including one of our clients—and displaced over 500,000 people.  An Opportunity client in the aftermath of the cyclone. It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the southern hemisphere. At about the same time, California declared a state of emergency after a brutal winter storm knocked out power and trapped some residents inside their homes. California has faced…

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Staff Spotlight: Luke Coulson

by Kelli Walker

Luke Coulson has built his education and career in southern Africa. He was born on a sugar estate in Zimbabwe, and in 2001, his family moved to Malawi. He attended university in South Africa, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees, with honors, in economic development and environmental science. He returned to Malawi in 2009; In 2020, he joined Opportunity International as client services manager for agriculture finance. Committed to Opportunity’s Agriculture Finance overarching mandate to…

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Governor Spotlight: Hee-Jung Moon

by Kelli Walker

Whether talking about classical music, church, family, or Opportunity International, Hee-Jung Moon speaks with infectious enthusiasm and genuine passion. Hee-Jung recently hosted a successful event in New York City that brought together young professionals interested in learning about Opportunity International. Using her gifts of connection and curiosity, she is helping expand the Opportunity family.  Hee-Jung grew up as a competitive figure skater in Korea, earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard…

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A novel for the International Day of Reflection

by Allison Kooser

Nearly 30 years ago, almost one million people were killed over the course of 100 days in one of the most violent genocides in history. In Rwanda, neighbors turned against neighbors and families were ripped apart. The scale and severity of the violence remain almost unimaginable—and the ripple effect of the genocide have shaped the policy and culture of the region for the last three decades. Every April 7, the United Nations remembers the Rwandan Genocide through the International Day of Reflection.…

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Digit-ALL

by Ama Akuamoah

When women lead localized digital learning, change is possible. Digital financial services are part of an effective arsenal in addressing the economic needs of low-income women working to save money. Digital tools enable them to buffer against income shocks, support financial goals, make investments in their businesses and families, and allow for long-term financial planning. For those reasons, Opportunity International provides digital finance solutions to empower people living in poverty…

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International Women's Day Interview with Chilufya Siansagu

by Catherine O’Shea and Maham Khuhro

This blog was originally published on edufinance.org Entrepreneurs Financial Centre (EFC) is one of Zambia’s leading micro-finance institutions. EFC Zambia is committed to contributing to the development of the country’s private sector by providing increased access to financial services. Their EduFinance products include School Improvement Loans, Teacher Loans, School Fee Loans and Edu-Save. Chilufya Siansangu is Head of Business Development/ Marketing and Communications for EFC Zambia. Her…

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A powerful book for Women’s History Month

by Allison Kooser

Happy Women’s History Month! Here at Opportunity International, we are proud to honor women, celebrate their achievements, and draw attention to the barriers that still impact their ability to live the lives they deserve all year long. But every March, we take special time to pause and reflect—both on how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Worldwide, women remain underrepresented and unable to access equal opportunities for work, education, financial independence, and more. Through…

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Governor Spotlight: Julie Wade

by Kelli Walker

Julie Wade is a connector—one of those rare human beings who not only sees the potential of connecting one opportunity with another, but takes action to bring ideas and people together, creating a multiplying power that leads to something meaningful, effective, and exciting. Julie has worked and volunteered for nonprofit organizations throughout her life. When she and her family lived in Hinsdale, IL, Opportunity International’s headquarters were close to home. Almost twenty years ago, one of…

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