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Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

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

News Blog

Celebrating 50 Years at the Opportunity International Summit

by Opportunity International

This spring, supporters and friends from around the world gathered in Chicago to celebrate Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary—a milestone marking five decades of service, impact, and transformation. After years of being apart due to the pandemic,  we were elated to finally reunite in-person as a community and commemorate this remarkable milestone in Opportunity’s history. We welcomed 350 supporters from around the globe for a weekend of fellowship, education, and celebration. We…

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Director of Philanthropy in the Field: My Trip to the DRC

by Heather Radzinski

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. We had been traveling for hours and the dense Congo forest stretched out across the horizon as far as the eye could see. This was my first trip to Africa, and upon landing on a strip of grass in the Ubangi region in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo, my fellow travelers and I were in for a welcome we won’t soon forget. We were greeted by what seemed like the entire town.…

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Giving As a Family Affair

by Opportunity International

When Jill and Steve Smith were students at Georgetown, they had no idea that a chance encounter during the late 1970s would shape their philanthropy for the rest of their lives. When they met Opportunity's founder Al Whittaker, the Smiths were impressed by his practical and faith-based approach to fighting poverty and continued to track Opportunity's work with interest over the next several years. They decided their 10th-anniversary gift to each other would be an Insight Trip to Central America.…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Luz & Andrea

by Opportunity International

Luz Dary and Andrea form part of a savings group in the south of Bogotá. They live in the area of Cazuca and it is mostly formed by internally displaced people that flock to the cities looking for safety because the countryside is very violent in Colombia right now. In the case of Luz, she used to be married to a man that was affiliated with the guerillas. He was assassinated, and she flocked to Bogota with her six children. Luz and Andrea are recyclers. Every night they leave their homes, they…

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The Power of Home

by Allison Kooser

Creating Safe, Healthy Spaces in Colombia Home means something different to us all. For many, the term may invite feelings of warmth and memories of joy. But for others who have experienced instability and pain, home can be a symbol of hurt or loss. A reminder of what they never had.  Elsa, an Opportunity client in Colombia, shared, “When I was 9 years old, armed bandits arrived in my town. I was so afraid. Everyone had to leave immediately otherwise we would be killed.” But where would an…

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“Required reading for the entire human race.”

by Allison Kooser

This month, we are so excited to dive into Nobel-prize-winning writer Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.    García Márquez’s masterpiece invites readers on a journey through time, exploring the rise and fall of the fictional town of Macondo through the eyes of the Buendía family over the course of six generations. Every facet of life featured within these pages—from birth to death, marriage to heartbreak—is described with a vibrancy readers will not soon forget. …

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Waymaker Wednesday: Linda

by Opportunity International

Inside a bread factory in Accra, Ghana, I was greeted by men whose hands were 3 times the width of mine. The baking ovens and the hot Accra sun made the room temperature well over 100 degrees. Suddenly, I feel this big hug around me, and I turn around. This, I soon learned, was Linda, the owner of the bakery. I’ll never forget meeting this woman in the blue shirt, who you see smiling before you as she did that day. She had gone through a transformation as a client herself, starting with 1 oven…

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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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