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© 2021 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

News Blog

50 for 50: Let’s start at the very beginning

by Laura DesGranges

To begin our 50-year celebration, there is no better place to start than at the beginning. While today we serve 14 million people, the Opportunity International story starts with one.  Long before he was a “client” of ours, Carlos Moreno was one of nearly a million people in Cali, Colombia working desperately to provide for his family. He searched for needs that weren’t being met in his community and noticed an opportunity waiting for him in the spice market. He and his wife began grinding…

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The Pandemics We Don't See

by Atul Tandon

This article was originally published on the Opportunity International blog on December 21, 2020. When The World Food Programme won the Nobel Prize last year, WFP president David Beasley took the increased press and attention to issue a warning: “We are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021.” His message is simple but devastating: For those living in extreme poverty, things are going to get worse. The year ahead will be more difficult than the one we have just weathered, and,…

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What We Read in 2020

by Opportunity International

In 2020, as we spent countless hours at home learning new terms like \"sheltering in place\" and \"social distancing\", we found ourselves turning to great books again and again. Reading provided a distraction, an opportunity to learn, and the chance to travel the world right from our couches.  Every month, the Opportunity Book Club reads a book that opens our eyes to more of the world. We choose books written by underrepresented authors; books that share stories from the countries in which we work;…

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Start 2021 with a great book

by Allison Kooser

We are so excited to begin another year of reading together. With physical travel paused, we were even more grateful to travel around the world through the pages of great books. Take a moment to revisit the 12 amazing books we read in 2020—and share your favorites with a friend! Now, as we look to the year ahead, we are eager for more reading, more exploring, and more learning. And we're so excited that you're along for the ride! We're kicking off the year with a hot debut novel: A Burning by Megha…

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Read one of the 100 notable books of 2020!

by Allison Kooser

Last month, we read Kintu, the multi-generational narrative by Ugandan author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. We loved learning more about Ugandan history through the compelling stories of the Kintu clan. This month, we are traveling west in Africa to Liberia to read one of The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2020. Join us as we read The Dragons, The Giant, The Women by Wayétu Moore. Through her engrossing memoir, Moore tells her story of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life…

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The great Ugandan novel you didn’t know you were waiting for

by Allison Kooser

We are still thinking about A Long Way Gone, the book we read together in October. In a season when so much feels uncertain and difficult, we were particularly struck by this powerful reminder: \"If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen.\" This month, we are reading a book that book critic Aaron Bady of The New Inquiry described as \"a masterpiece, an absolute gem, the great Ugandan novel you didn't know you were waiting for.\" Join us as we read Kintu by Jennifer…

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Governor Spotlight: Johanna Mahal

by Laura DesGranges

It only took one conversation for Johanna Mahal to be hooked. A friend of her husband David introduced Johanna to Isabelle Finney, VP of Philanthropy at Opportunity, in the Fall of 2019. They sat down for coffee and by the end of their meeting, she had decided to pilot Opportunity’s first Donor Trust Group in the U.S. To be fair, Johanna had a connection with Opportunity from her days as a cabi clothing stylist, thanks to cabi and Opportunity’s long-standing partnership. But she hadn’t dug…

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Ramping up E-Learning During the Pandemic

by Catherine O'Shea and Antonella Abategiovanni

This article originally appeared on edufinance.org on August 14, 2020.  When the global COVID-19 pandemic closed down travel in many countries in March 2020, the EduFinance Technical Assistance team saw an opportunity to support financial institutions that were attempting to rapidly transition to a temporary remote workforce. Recognizing that in-person professional development training for staff would not be possible for an extended period, the team decided to put pilot e-learning modules that…

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The harrowing story of a boy soldier

by Allison Kooser

Last month, the Opportunity Book Club was transported to northern Kenya to learn about Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp, through Ben Rawlence's powerful book, City of Thorns. Just like the nine stories featured in Rawlence's book, there are millions of people around the world who have been forced from their homes because of violence, persecution, and famine. Opportunity International cares deeply about these often-forgotten communities, and we work within refugee camps and communities to…

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Mutually Exacerbating Catastrophes: Responding to the 2020 Gates Goalkeepers Report

by Atul Tandon

Each fall, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation releases their annual Goalkeepers Report. Typically, the report celebrates our collective progress made toward the Sustainable Development Goals—progress that we at Opportunity frequently celebrate, too. Year over year, we have watched the incidence of extreme poverty around the world steadily decrease—from over 37% of the world’s population in 1990 to just under 7% last year. This progress gave us great reason for optimism, and encouraged our…

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