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Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

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

News Blog

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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This is one memoir that will stick with you

by Allison Kooser

Here at our headquarters in Chicago, the winter cold has us longing to curl up in a comfy chair with a hot beverage and a great book. So, this month, we’re picking up one of the most celebrated books of the season. In his powerful new memoir, Solito, Javier Zamora takes us along as he looks back on the life-altering 3,000-mile journey from El Salvador to the U.S. that he made at just nine years old. To reunite with his parents in the U.S., Zamora left behind his beloved grandparents in his small…

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Staff Spotlight: Dr. William Derban

by Kelli Walker

When you hear Dr. William Derban speak about the transformative power of technology for our clients, you cannot help but ask “how?” He promises that by listening to the needs of people living in extreme poverty, there you will find your answer. Leading by example, Dr. Derban is laser-focused on providing human-centered solutions that keep the people we serve at the center of our work—solutions that can be scaled at an ultra-low cost and make lasting change in communities facing incredible obstacles.…

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Today is a day of celebration

by Atul Tandon

“A waymaker looks out and envisions where a road could be cleared, where opportunities can be created. They see a chance to go where no one else is going to help their brothers and sisters—to help clear the way, so they can make their way.” Three years ago, we began a bold journey to go where others can’t or won’t. To reach out to those who have been left out or left behind. To help families build sustainable livelihoods, send their children to school, and create opportunities for themselves…

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5 Books We Loved in 2022

by Allison Kooser

There’s nothing quite like exploring the world through the pages of great novels, memoirs, and stories. Every month, the Opportunity International Book Club expands our minds, perspectives, and understanding as we dive into a new book—and we are so grateful to read alongside friends around the globe. As author Jhumpa Lahiri famously said, “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” We couldn’t agree more. As we step into a new year, we’re looking back…

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Waymaker Wednesday: Blanca

by Opportunity International

I met the father of my children. When I started a life with him, he began abusing me. He would hit, kick, and beat me. He would always say, “You will need me. You cannot live without me because a woman cannot live alone.” All those ideas had taken over in my head. I used to say, “It’s true. A woman needs a partner.” Today I feel completely different. Women can survive on their own. As long as you keep your eye on the goal that you have decided to fight for, you will get there. I am the…

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Listening and Learning: Community Economic Development in Nicaragua

by Allison Kooser

In the late 1980s, professors at Northwestern University proposed a new method of economic development. The premise was simple: What if we started with what a community had, instead of what it lacked? What if we leveraged a neighborhood’s existing skills, resources, institutions, partnerships, and people to advance the greater good? What might be possible if we centered our strategies on communities’ assets? Historically, economic development programs relied upon outside factors and third-party…

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