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News Blog

Be Inspired: A Traveler Meets Opportunity Uganda’s Microfinance Clients

by Debby Farrington

Debby Farrington, a supporter of the Women’s Opportunity Network (WON) is visiting Uganda with her 16-year-old nephew Matt Statman. Yesterday, Matt sent us a post about meeting teenage students in Kampala, and today, Debby reports on their visits with Trust Group clients and some very inspiring women entrepreneurs. Today, we visited a Trust Group meeting and some very special clients of Opportunity Uganda. Teddy Ajiku, the Insight Trip coordinator for Opportunity Uganda, picks up my nephew…

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Meeting Ugandan Students: Reflections of an American Teenager

by Matt Statman

Sixteen-year-old Matt Statman shares his impressions of traveling to Kampala, Uganda with his aunt, Women’s Opportunity Network (WON)supporter Debbie Farrington. He sends us back this enthusiastic report on the connections he made and the lessons he learned by visiting with students through a local education NGO called Educate! Matt’s experience offers a window into the lives of Ugandan students, highlighting their ongoing engagement and need for educational opportunities. Today, on our…

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Happy 92nd Birthday, Nelson Mandela!

by Emily Riemer

Happy birthday to the father of post-Apartheid South Africa. On Sunday, July 18th, Nelson Mandela turned 92. The South African leader andNobel Peace Prize winner, who had been imprisoned for 27 years and was the first South African president to be elected in multi-racial elections post-Apartheid, celebrated a happy 92nd birthday. His vision for peace and unity for his country inspires the world to this day, encouraging us to never give up hope that we will see the end to injustice, poverty and oppression…

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Top 5 Posts About Technology

by Opportunity International

Cell phone banking, smart cards featuring biometric technology,land-mapping using GPS: technology innovations are expanding the reach of microfinance in the developing world. Learn and go deeper intomicrofinance with five of our all-time favoriteOpportunity blog posts about technology: Chicago Microfinance Conference: Can Technology Innovations Transform Microfinance? (5/10/10) Ask a Microfinance Expert: M-Banking (2/9/10) Cell Phone Banking Technology Comes to Opportunity Malawi (5/10/10)…

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Spotlight on Agricultural Finance: An Interview with an Agriculture Finance Officer

by Emily Riemer

Through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation, Opportunity is now offering greater financial tools to people in rural areas, including 90,000 smallholder farmers in the next three to four years. Opportunity has already launched a successful agricultural finance program in Malawi, paving the way for similar programs in Ghana and Mozambique, with Rwanda and Uganda to follow shortly thereafter. Opportunity‘s ag finance programs are growing so fast that our…

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Sending Our Condolences to the Victims of Sunday’s Bombings in Uganda

by Opportunity International

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of the two bombings that took place late Sunday night in Kampala, Uganda. The bombings were done in a synchronized attack on large gatherings of World Cup soccer fans watching the televised final game on outdoor screens. To our knowledge, no Opportunity Uganda staff or clients were injured in the attacks, yet we and our Ugandan brothers and sisters feel deeply the loss of the 74 local people and international aid workers who died. Among…

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Supporting Youth Groups with Microloans in Tanzania

by AJ Renold

AJ Renold, Opportunity Tanzania’s multimedia YAO reporter on the ground, sends us this report about a pilot microlending program for a Tanzanian youth group. This past Friday, Opportunity Tanzania lending staff visited the NGAO Youth Group, a group supported by Youth Initiatives Tanzania (YITA), to assess their business for the capacity for a loan. This meeting marked the start of a partnership between Opportunity Tanzania and YITA to provide business credit to YITA youth groups. YITA is a…

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What We’re Reading: Roger Thurow Encourages Rwandan Farmers to “Keep Up the Momentum”

by Emily Riemer

This week, Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow on Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, posted a blog reporting on an unusual situation for farmers in Kirehe, Rwanda — an agricultural surplus. Thurow examines the situation, interviewing Agnes Kalibata, Rwanda’s minister of agriculture, and discusses the positive impact of USAID’s Feed the Future initiative as well as the need for continued momentum and perseverance by farmers in Rwanda in the face of a recent…

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Global Poverty: Melinda Gates Discusses What Can Be Done

by Opportunity International

In an interview with Melinda French Gates in the July/August issue of Smithsonian, the co-chair of the world’s largest philanthropic organization discusses what can be done and what is being done about global poverty and health. As part of the $22.7 billion the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given to development, education and health programs, Melinda Gates identifies certain strategies that have immense impact on poverty, including investment in agriculture and access to financial services,…

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The Potential of Cell Phone Banking

by Opportunity International

Wondering if cell phone banking can reach the unreachable? CGAP Technology Blog has published the results of a discussion with Daryl Collins (co-author of Portfolios of the Poor) and Olga Morawczynski (of Grameen Foundation) from June’s Mobile Money Summit, an examination that highlights some of the keys to effective cell phone banking. Blog author Mark Pickens comments, “I worry some mobile money providers won’t see the volume of transactions they want to justify the investment, unless…

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