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News Blog

We’re thankful for…great books!

by Allison Kooser

In this season of gratitude, one of the things we’re most thankful for is a great book. With cooler temperatures and the holidays fast approaching, the time is right to curl up with a novel and get lost in an incredible story. This month, join the Opportunity Book Club as we read How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue.  Set in a fictional African village, How Beautiful We Were explores colonialism, ancestry, the environment, and the power of community in the face of enormous challenges. Through…

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50 for 50: Remembering Opportunity International in Russia

by Stacie Schrader

In 1991, at 24 years old, I felt called to Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (then still the Soviet Union city of Gorky). At the time I was curious about the political, social, and economic changes that were taking place in communist countries. And in those first days, I often wondered where the Lord had brought me. Then, within months of my arrival, the Soviet Union collapsed. Amidst the ruins of the former political system, economic chaos reigned. I witnessed long lines for bread, and rising poverty and…

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50 for 50: Origin Stories - Asia

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International finds its origins in two corners of the world. While Al Whittaker began making loans in Latin America, Opportunity’s co-founder David Bussau initiated a loan program in Indonesia following a devastating earthquake. In 1974, a farmer named Ketut received Opportunity International’s first loan in Asia. With $50 from Bussau, Ketut and his wife began a tailoring business after purchasing a sewing machine. The microfinance program proved as effective as it was replicable—in…

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A Conversation with the VISA Foundation on SDG #1 – No Poverty

by Opportunity International

October 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, celebrated worldwide to recognize the struggles of those living in poverty and promote dialogue amongst stakeholders to end poverty once and for all. See how Opportunity International is working alongside other industry leaders to fulfill a shared vision-no poverty. Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon recently sat down with Graham Macmillan, President of Visa Foundation, during Ideagen’s “17 Days of Sustainability” event.…

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Women as Agents of Change

by Opportunity International

For decades, families living in rural communities in India have struggled to access high-quality financial services. As the nation developed and rapidly introduced modern banking infrastructure, remote regions were excluded from this financial progress. In rural communities, banking was all-too-often characterized by long distances to the nearest branch, over-crowded branches, and poor customer service. To address this exclusion and the challenges of last-mile delivery, banks hired and trained banking…

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50 for 50: 7 Facts about our progress out of poverty

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International has spent 50 years learning what clients need to break the cycle of poverty. Through innovative solutions that help families build sustainable livelihoods, farmers improve their yields, and children go to school, we have been part of a global movement to reduce extreme poverty—a movement that has seen remarkable progress since our founding in 1971. This weekend as we celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we are looking back at just how far we’ve…

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50 for 50: The Earliest Trust Groups

by Susy Cheston with Alexis Beggs Olsen

This essay is a selection from the special edition of UnPoverty by Mark Lutz. The new edition has been released in celebration of Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary, featuring new chapters from leaders throughout Opportunity’s history. To receive a copy, simply make a donation of any size to Opportunity and we’ll send it to you.The small squatter community was carved into a barren hillside in Soyapango, near the capital city of El Salvador. I was inching my 20-year-old car along,…

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Navigating our interconnected world

by Allison Kooser

Opportunity International is an organization that works across borders, so communication and understanding are at the heart of so much of our work. Learning how to navigate cultural differences well makes us better leaders, better partners, and better collaborators. This month, we are wading into these differences as we read The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer. Meyer, a professor at the renowned international business school, Institut Européen…

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50 for 50: The Power of Digital Finance

by Simona Haiduc and Robinah Zawedde

This essay is a selection from the special edition of UnPoverty by Mark Lutz. The new edition has been released in celebration of Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary, featuring new chapters from leaders throughout Opportunity’s history. To receive a copy, simply make a donation of any size to Opportunity and we’ll send it to you.The economic landscape of Africa is changing because women like Stella, Millie and Charity are starting and sustaining their own microenterprises.Stella…

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50 for 50: Revisiting the Sustainable Development Goals

by Allison Kooser

In 2015, 193 countries committed to 17 ambitious goals—goals designed to promote and measure progress toward equity and development worldwide. These goals, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were a renewed vision by the United Nations following 2000’s Millennium Development Goals and provide a global benchmark for critical, sustainable progress. Achieving them will require the commitment and creativity of nations and organizations alike, and the 169 targets outlined within the…

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