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Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

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© 2022 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

News Blog

Dive into a classic with us! Cutting for Stone by Abraham Varghese

by Allison Kooser

Back-to-school season might be right around the corner, but there is still time to squeeze in a few more summer reads with the Opportunity International Book Club!  Join us as we read an engrossing epic about twin brothers coming of age on the brink of revolution in Ethiopia.  This month, we’re reading the national bestseller Cutting for Stone by Abraham Varghese. Beginning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1954, Cutting for Stone follows Marion and Shiva Stone, twin sons of an Indian nun and a British…

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Inspiration from the Olympic Games

by Atul Tandon

For the past two weeks, I’ve ended each of my evenings catching up on the Olympics coverage from the day. The Olympic games—a once-every-four-years gathering of some of the most talented, tenacious, and inspiring people in the world—is rife with challenges, but it also reminds of the best of humanity. Watching people proudly carry the flags of their home countries, compete in events for which they have devoted years of training, and show good sportsmanship to teammates and competitors alike—it…

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50 for 50: Where are They Now? Nicaragua Graduates

by Opportunity International

“This is just the beginning—I have big dreams for the future.”  In 2016, Opportunity International celebrated the graduation of Emprendedora Technical High School’s inaugural class. Founded in 2012 in Granada, Nicaragua, the school is an integral part of Opportunity’s larger Community Economic Development (CED) strategy—one of the many innovative programs Opportunity International has launched over our 50-year history. With a unique curriculum that balances traditional high school learning…

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50 for 50: Meet Tito Santa María

by Opportunity International

As we celebrate Opportunity’s 50th Anniversary, we are looking back at our history and remembering the clients who have inspired us along the way. One of the earliest recipients of an Opportunity International loan was Tito Santa María, a beekeeper in Colombia. We are honored to share his story. I’ve always said that the bees do a perfect job—all of the mistakes are ours. My name is Mr. Tito Santa María, and I’m a beekeeper. Thirty years ago, I took out a loan to run my own business from…

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50 for 50: The Opportunity International Book Club

by Opportunity International

For years, we’ve felt deeply that the path to knowledge and innovation starts with education. Reading, whether an academic journal or an international novel, has always been a habit that keeps us curious, inspired, and creative. In 2018, Opportunity International launched a new way to get involved, learn about the world, and connect with supporters: The Opportunity International Book Club. Inspired by small book clubs that had popped up among groups of donors around the country, the Book Club became…

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50 for 50: History of Mobile Banks

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International has been at the forefront of mobile banking for decades. As technology has developed over time, so has our ability to reach and serve those living far from urban centers—those who are often most in need of resources and support. Research estimates that 80% of people living in extreme poverty live in rural regions, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia where low population density and poor infrastructure make it difficult for individuals to access traditional…

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Your next summer read: His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

by Allison Kooser

As summer heats up, we’re planning vacations, getting into adventures, and diving into great novels. This month, join us as we read the story of a plucky young Ghanaian seamstress as she navigates social and familial pressure to get married and be the perfect wife.  Our July Opportunity Book Club selection is His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie.  When her mother convinces her to marry a successful businessman she’s never met, Medie’s heroine, Afi, must decide if she wants to become the…

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50 for 50: Journeying from Client to Advisor

by Berta Regina Sierra Aguas

My name is Berta Regina Sierra Aguas, and I am 52 years old. I live with my husband, my two sons, my daughter-in-law, and my two grandchildren in Soledad, Atlántico—a municipality an hour and a half from the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. With God's help, we now have a big, beautiful home. Most of my time is dedicated to my work at AGAPE—Opportunity International's partner in Colombia—but I like to spend my free time with my family, especially my grandchildren. I first heard about Opportunity…

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50 for 50: Bringing Health Insurance to Those Who Need It Most

by Richard Leftley

In 2004, Richard Leftley wrote a white paper outlining the severe risks the HIV/AIDS crisis presented for Opportunity International Trust Groups. He proposed a new, creative solution: very small insurance policies for Opportunity International’s clients. Originally, these microinsurance policies were designed to cover a client’s loan balance and, in some cases, funeral expenses, should a Trust Group member pass away. This simple-but-revolutionary concept became MicroEnsure, the world’s first…

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50 for 50: YAO Memories

by Allison Kooser

In 2008, a group of young philanthropists came together in support of Opportunity International. They were so impressed by the model and inspired by the clients that they decided to build a community that would help them introduce even more friends to the organization—Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO) was born. Through local chapters in cities around the United States, Young Ambassadors were able to build relationships, educate their peers about microfinance and development, encourage friends…

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