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News Blog

Governor Spotlight: Dawn Helwig

by Allison Kooser

When Dawn Helwig’s youngest daughter traveled to Tanzania with her college class 10 years ago, she met a group of women that were building their businesses using microloans—and she immediately texted her mother.  “She told me, 'this is what you need to do when you retire,'” Dawn remembered. “She had me pegged. I was a finance person, and she knew this was something that would interest me.”  After graduating from college, Dawn’s daughter got involved with Young Ambassadors for Opportunity…

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50 for 50: A look back at Insight Trips

by Opportunity International

Throughout our history, we have had the honor and privilege to travel to the field to meet Opportunity International clients; visit their homes and businesses; and be inspired by their incredible tenacity, compassion, and hard work. These trips, known today as Insight Trips, have opened our eyes and hearts — and helped us build relationships with new friends around the world. Travel around the world — and back in time — with us as we remember some of our favorite Insight Trip moments over the…

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Staff Spotlight: Tineyi Mawocha

by Opportunity International

You may have heard Chief Program Officer Tineyi Mawocha discuss his work at one of our virtual events, and now is your chance to get to know him! Discover his favorite part of his job and the reason why he is inspired to get out of bed every day in this Q&A. Position title: Chief Program Officer, Africa Where do you live? I live in Kampala, Uganda, though I am Zimbabwean. How many years have you been with Opportunity? Seven years. Tell us a little about what you do day-to-day: I monitor and support…

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50 for 50: Progress Against Poverty

by Opportunity International

From 1971 to 2021, we've been working together to help people move out of poverty all around the world. Let's see how our global progress has fared.    Each week for the next 50 weeks, we will share a piece of Opportunity’s history—major or minor, sobering or inspiring. We have gotten to where we are today by facing some of the world’s greatest challenges, with you by our side. Please join us in celebrating the many significant moments that have built the foundation on which we will embark…

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What we’re reading this month

by Allison Kooser

During Women's History Month, we are recognizing remarkable, inspiring women around the world. And today, we are joining our friends in the UK for World Book Day (we'll take any excuse to celebrate great books!). In honor of these two special holidays, we're reading a novel about a young Ugandan girl searching for meaning and understanding through her relationships with the women in her life. Join us as we read A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. A Girl is a Body of Water is…

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Learn something new this month

by Allison Kooser

Did you know that you can recommend books for the Opportunity Book Club? We love getting suggestions from our community, so reply to this email and let us know what you’d like to read! In December, one of you shared a recommendation that also appeared on Bill Gates’ holiday reading list, so we knew we needed to check it out. This month, join us as we read Range by David Epstein. As Gates describes, “In this fascinating book, [Epstein] argues that although the world seems to demand more…

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A Pandemic at our door

by Atul Tandon

\"I wish it need not have happened in my time,\" said Frodo. \"So do I,\" said Gandalf, \"and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.\" – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring 2020 was a challenging and transformative year. For the first time in our lifetimes, all human beings faced a significant threat at the same time and the ground shifted on nearly everything simultaneously. Our homes,…

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Reflecting on the International Day of Education

by Catherine O'Shea

This blog was originally published on edufinance.org Sometimes the answers to simple, fundamental questions are in fact the most compelling. As part of International Day of Education 2021 we asked three of our Opportunity EduFinance staff to reflect on the importance of education in their own lives and the lives of others. What role has education had in your life? Jane Aik, Technical Assistance Advisor, Africa:  I reflect on the quote by the legendary Nelson Mandela, that “education is the most…

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50 for 50: The Power of Community

by Allison Kooser

In the early 1990s, Opportunity International was testing out innovative new models around the world. While launching our very first programs in Africa and beginning to issue larger loans in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain, a group of donors in the United States dreamed up a new idea of their own. These women, who would later power the Women’s Opportunity Fund, wanted Opportunity to serve people even further down the economic pyramid. They wanted us to provide financial services…

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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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