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News Blog

Update from Our Partners in Haiti

by Opportunity International

In an effort to reach some of the most marginalized people in the world, Opportunity partners with Fonkoze, a microfinance organization in Haiti. If you have never been, Haiti is a country filled with resilient people who face some of the most challenges circumstances we have ever seen. The work Opportunity supports there serves women who live on the margins, earn less than $1 per day, suffer from hunger, and have no assets or access healthcare. People like this are often the ones who suffer the…

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Mozambique: One Year After Cyclone Idai

by Opportunity International

Mozambique: One Year After Cyclone Idai by Mary Pat McVay Rallying Together | It Truly Does Take A Village | We Don't Quit   A few weeks ago, I spoke to my colleagues Doreen and Melba to get an update on the COVID-19 situation in Mozambique and see how they were coping and adapting. We chatted about the teenagers the three of us have at home, what kind of virtual learning they are engaged in, and how much time they should be allowed on social media with friends. Then Doreen said, “It’s good…

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Finding a Lifeline for the Poor and the Financial Institutions that Serve Them

by Sam Bickersteth and Deborah Foy, Opportunity International

The following post was originally published on LinkedIn on May 12, 2020. It was written by Sam Bickersteth and Deborah Foy are respectively Chief Executive and Senior Advisor of Opportunity International UK. The COVID-19 crisis has already hit the poor hard, and will hit them harder. Microfinance Institutions are close to affected groups and provide an essential lifeline - but are themselves under threat as deposits fall and the poor struggle with repayments. Supporting the financial institutions…

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6 Books to Read While Sheltering in Place

by Allison Kooser

With extended time at home, we have found ourselves turning to great books more than ever. Books open up the challenges and victories of other people’s worlds when we need an escape from our own; literary adventures provide an opportunity to travel and explore—no airplane required; and, a great page-turner is all we need on hand to learn something new in this season of quarantine. If you’re looking for a book to pick up while you’re sheltering in place, why not choose one of our favorite…

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The Importance of an Empty Grain Silo During COVID-19

by Heather Kaczrowski

The Lifeline of Africa | What They Face | Opportunity's Response  At the start of the lockdown in Illinois, I went to the grocery store. For the first time, I found myself anxious about food supply for my household and thinking through the ramifications of a crisis. For the first time, while walking through the aisles, I realized my fleeting feelings were just a fragment of the vulnerability and uncertainty that so many families around the world endure every day of their lives. Unlike so many of…

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Reflections on Daily Bread

by Atul Tandon

Amid so much darkness, there are small glimmers of light. Because of you, families who could have already crumbled under the economic shock caused by COVID-19 have some safety – a chance to survive, rebuild, and thrive once again. More than 12 million families have savings accounts, 5.7 million have access to digital banking, and all have local Opportunity staff who care deeply about their wellbeing. I think about clients like Linda Nyarko in Ghana, a woman who has inspired me and so many others.…

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A Shining Light in a Dark Season

by Atul Tandon

As we all learn to navigate the health, economic, and social changes caused by COVID-19, I find myself thinking often of our clients and neighbors living in extreme poverty. The reality for those living on less than $2 a day is unimaginable—without access to clean water and sanitation, already limited economic opportunities, and notably absent healthcare infrastructure, Opportunity clients are bracing for disaster. This is especially true in my home country of India, where the government-mandated…

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Getting to Know: Kerri McAfoos

by Laura DesGranges

Kerri McAfoos has been a committed member of the Governor community for several years. We are lucky to have Kerri join as Governor Co-Chair alongside Cassie Burns. Let’s get to know Kerri!   Coming to Opportunity My family had been donors to Opportunity for many years before I learned about Insight Trips. I accepted an invitation to travel to Rwanda with Opportunity, and my mind was opened to the important work of microfinance; I was impressed by the quality of this organization. I had such a…

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Understanding What is at Stake for Schools During COVID-19

by Opportunity EduFinance

It started with just a handful of school closures in countries where we operate. Within 48 hours, we were faced with nationwide school closures in all eight countries due to COVID-19 prevention and containment measures. UNESCO consolidated information on COVID-19's global impact on education, with statistics that were hard to fathom. 165 countries with nationwide school closures affecting more than 1.5 billion learners 87% of the global learner population enrolled at the start of March is suddenly…

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Behind Closed Doors: The Champions of Women's Empowerment

by Opportunity International

Behind Closed Doors: The Champions of Women's Empowerment by Fionah Agaba Barbra   Fionah Agaba Barbra is a guest blogger for Opportunity International. She is a young communications professional from Uganda who has worked with several organizations to empower women across her country. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in gender studies.    Growing up as the daughter of Fortunate Paska, a renowned women’s rights advocate, I had no choice but to become passionate about gender equality. I…

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