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News Blog

Happy Father’s Day from Opportunity

by Emily Riemer

Today we honor the love, support and strength of fathers everywhere… Fathers like Donasian Mbiry. Opportunity client Donasian owns a small shop in the Ilala Bugoni neighborhood of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He built his store himself with a wood frame and corrugated steel roof, selling household goods like rice, flour and cooking oil. He is using his loan as working capital to build the selection of products he sells and position himself to better compete with other stores in the neighborhood. With…

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Oak Park and River Forest Supporters Gather to Celebrate a Rich Giving History

by Sonja Egeland Kelly

Last week, a group of Opportunity supporters met together in Maryellen and Jim Betke’s home in Oak Park, Ill. Their common denominator? They are all champions of Opportunity’s microfinance work who live in Oak Park and River Forest, Ill. Over the past 12 months, 80 Opportunity supporters in the Oak Park-River Forest area have raised almost $200,000 together. Motivated by their compassion for those living in poverty, the same group has raised a total of a half million dollars in the past four…

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YAO Hosts an Expert Panel: The Microfinance Landscape Today

by Sheila Ramachandra

YAO-New York core member and event co-organizer Sheila Ramachandra sends us this report from the panel discussion YAO hosted on Tuesday evening, which examined the current microfinance landscape. On Tuesday evening, YAO-New York hosted a panel discussion entitled “Trends and Challenges in Today’s Microfinance Landscape.” The panelists included Sarah Buitoni, senior associate at Women’s World Banking, Center for Microfinance Leadership; Mark Narron, assistant vice president at Deutsche Bank…

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A Virtual Walk Alongside the Women’s Insight Trip to Uganda

by Susan Gillette

Women’s Opportunity Network (WON) member Susan Gillette shares her excitement about the upcoming “Mothers, Daughters and Sisters” Insight Trip to Uganda, offering a unique, virtual way for everyone to join in. I had hoped to go on the Uganda Women’s Insight Trip with my daughters, Maggie and Lindsay, but they couldn’t get away from work. But the good news is that we are going to be walking alongside the women on this trip “virtually.” We’ll be able to keep up with the trip through…

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Women of the Congo: Bringing Hope through Microfinance

by Emily Riemer

“It is a war that men have provoked, but women have paid the highest price.” These are the words of a UN peacekeeper in Lisa Jackson’s award-winning documentary, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, a film about the violence and violation faced by women living in the war-torn eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo over the last decade. On Monday night, nearly 100 guests attended a screening of the documentary film, followed by a question-and-answer session with three members…

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Opportunity Ghana launches a mobile bank

by Emily Riemer

“We have realized that many of our customers are travelling between 50 and 100 km [between 30 and 60 miles] to access banking services,” says Effie Cook, head of HR at Opportunity Ghana. “So we have focused our energies on developing innovative delivery channels that serve the needs of the marginalized and reach out to the many deprived rural areas of Ghana.” To address the needs of its clients, Opportunity Ghana has just launched a mobile banking facility, an event that was reported by the…

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A Progress Report on the UN Millennium Development Goals

by Opportunity International

In September of 2000, the United Nations addressed the issue of global poverty by adopting the Millennium Declaration. The declaration pledged the members to accomplish measurable goals to eradicate global poverty by the year 2015. The Millennium Development Goals focus on eight areas of concern, including poverty and hunger, universal education, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS prevention. With the deadline now only five years away, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called upon world leaders…

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The Top 5 Opportunity Blog Posts

by Opportunity International

Revisit Opportunity‘s five most popular blog posts from the past month. Got a comment? Share it with us in the comment field below. 1. UN Secretary-General Visits Opportunity Malawi Mobile Bank (6/02/10) 2. Food & Microfinance: Helping Farmers Reap Rewards (6/02/10) 3. Meeting the Grandfather of Microfinance (5/25/10) 4. Cell Phone Banking Technology Comes to Opportunity Malawi (5/19/10) 5. “Building Social Business” with Muhammad Yunus (5/24/10) Check back in regularly with the blog to stay…

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YAO meets Ken Vander Weele at the Microfinance Club of New York

by Michelle Mak

YAO-NY core member Michelle Mak shares with us this report from last night’s panel at the Microfinance Club of New York. Last night, YAO-New York members (and YAO-Boston visitors) met Ken Vander Weele, the CEO of the Opportunity International Global Leadership Team, at a Microfinance Club of New York panel, “Africa: The Microfinance Landscape.” Ken was part of a panel discussing challenges and opportunities in Africa, along with Donna Katzin (executive director of Shared Interest, a social…

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What YAO is reading: Portfolios of the Poor

by Opportunity International

Last night, at Noble Tree cafe in Lincoln Park, YAO-Chicago held a book discussion for Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day. If you missed it, never fear. There will be more book discussions in YAO‘s future. In fact, we may have a followup to the discussion of Portfolios, a book so seminal that at the Chicago Microfinance Conference in May, Tim Ogden, editor-in-chief of Philanthropy Action, insisted, “If you’re serious about the microfinance industry, you must…

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