Ana Mateus is Opportunity.
Mozambican poultry farmer Ana Mateus struggled to support her family. The future looked bleak until she joined an Opportunity Trust Group. She used her first loans to buy more chicks and later, she planted onions and bought a motorbike for her son to deliver goods to market. She has successfully built a thriving farm, created jobs for neighbors, and become a business leader in her community.
clients registered for digital banking
loans delivered to farmers since 2009
children reached via EduFinance since 2008
Cumulative as of 6/30/19
67% of new clients live on less than $2.50/day
clients in 22 countries have loans — up 28% from 4.8M in one year!
clients are saving
of loan clients are women and 81% live in rural areas
Because You Invest In Opportunity's Global Programs:
WE WILL BE PART OF ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN OUR LIFETIMES
We are at an extraordinary point in human history: for the first time ever, ending extreme poverty is within reach. Inspired by our clients, and by data that demonstrates that the world is indeed getting better, we are working together toward ending extreme poverty in our lifetimes.
Every photo, statistic, and activity represent real people who are making the most of your investment in them. We present this progress report of the first half of 2018 with deep gratitude.
You made a lasting impact in Asia
Achieving substantial growth in outreach and transformation
The Opportunity International programs you are funding in Asia have grown at unprecedented levels over the last five years, and so far, 2018 is no exception. From 2.35 million loan clients at the end of 2012 to 5.82 million at the midpoint of 2018, our partners in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines have achieved incredible growth in outreach in a region mired in extreme poverty.
The outreach is more than numbers. By listening to our clients, we know that they are achieving lasting improvements along their journeys out of poverty:
- Almost 100% of loan clients are women—many of these in areas with historically discriminated-against populations with very high poverty rates.
- Most clients (83% - 89%) report income increase resulting from the loan.
- Clients report significant improvements in well-being: 86-98% report life quality improvements, compared to 46%-80% of non-clients.
- 60-69% report being better off by two or more steps on a ten-step poverty scale, compared to only 20-42% of non-clients.
Reaching 6 million families in Asia
Building healthy communities
In India, the Healing Fields program and other partners are training successful Trust Group clients to become Community Health Facilitators. To date, the program has:
- Trained 4,000+ women as health leaders who reached more than 5 million people with the provision of basic health, hygiene, and nutrition education.
- Equipped women with powerful knowledge and support. As a result, 25,000 households now use toilets or clean water filters and 200,000 women now use sanitary napkins.
- Delivered training covering breastfeeding, the importance of delivering babies in the hospital, first aid, hygiene, and preventative health practices.
- Trained 60+ women as Peacemakers to provide support to survivors of domestic violence and their families. It is believed that 1 in every 2 women face domestic violence in India.
- Increased autonomy for 98% of women who gained the confidence to interact outside their homes and for 68% who are now comfortable engaging in village-level discussions.
Meet Mamta, a wife and mother of two who lives in the Arjan Nagar slum of Madhya Pradesh, India. A few years ago, an accident left her husband disabled, sending the family into destitution with no income to send their children to school. Gathering her courage, Mamta joined an Opportunity group and started a business with a small loan. With encouragement from her loan officer and group, she grew her business with a series of Opportunity loans. Today, Mamta has quadrupled her income and created a job for her neighbor. Her son recently started college and her daughter is finishing high school. Generations of poverty ends with them.
Delivering innovation and service excellence
Entrepreneurs need access to achieve success. Opportunity is introducing digital solutions with 13 of our Indian partners, two of our Philippines partners, and four Indonesian partners to increase uptake of digital financial services to the most marginalized groups including women and low-literacy individuals who have a basic mobile phone device. In the first half of 2018, we:
- Established a network of banking agents at two India partners, CDOT and ESAF, who are training women as agents to reach out to other women, adding the element of trust for women who are not as comfortable using digital finance tools.
- Conducted staff training and client digital engagement activities with our Indian partner ESAF. Similar workshop planning is underway for our Indonesian partners.
- Registered 3.3 million clients through Indian partner, CDOT, to access digital financial services, including mobile phone banking.
Educating nearly 950,000 children in Asia
Children are the future. In alignment with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, Opportunity drives education solutions that get more children and youth in quality schools by addressing the biggest challenges Indian parents face, including their struggles to pay for educational costs each term, and the difficulties in finding good quality schools.
Understanding the importance of education as their child’s best chance out of poverty, moms use Opportunity loans to pay for educational expenses when their household cash flow is too low to cover them at the time fees are due. Educators, too, receive technical assistance to improve education quality and create good learning environments at their schools.
- As of September 30, 2018, we were positively impacting more than 930,000 children through our EduFinance programs in India.
- In India, 26,959 parents were using Opportunity School Fee loans to get or keep about 84,000 children in the classroom.
- With the addition of a new EduFinance partner in India, ISFC, Opportunity grew its education portfolio to work with 3,415 affordable private schools and 367 college or vocational bound students, positively impacting about 854,000 children.
You made a lasting impact in Africa
Because of loyal supporters like you, exciting work is happening across the African continent. As of 6/30/2018, 276,183 entrepreneurs across Africa were investing Opportunity loans to build sustainable livelihoods. Nearly 1.3 million African families are maintaining their progress out of poverty through access to secure ways to save their hard-earned income.
High-touch, high-tech, and high-impact
Digital solutions are accelerating financial inclusion for rural families in Africa. Together, we are accelerating the financial inclusion of marginalized people living in rural areas. We are closing the poverty gap by expanding our agent banking network, providing staff and client engagement and training, and leveraging technology to capture relevant client data. Many of our African clients can conduct transactions using their basic cell phones which they also utilize as a tool to receive digital real-time training via local-language voice messages and texts. Thanks to supporters like you, we:
- Enrolled and trained 523,000 African clients to bank digitally.
- Developed marketing materials to identify and reach more women with digital services.
- Surveyed Ghanaian clients who receive business training text messages via their basic cell phones. Based on learnings and positive client feedback, we have begun to replicate the service in Uganda.
- Replicated our successful African digital model to launch digital services in India and Indonesia.
Harvesting hope for the future
Across rural communities in Africa, agriculture is the way most families earn a livelihood. By supporting our global initiatives, you provided farmers and rural families with access to financial tools and extension support services, enabling them to increase their incomes, feed their families and communities, and create jobs for neighbors.
Through your support of our global programs, Opportunity has achieved the following since launching our AgFinance program in 2009:
- Reached our goal to empower nearly 500,000 farmers with loans, valuing a combined $100 million.
- Conducted multiple studies showing the impact and the challenges in AgFinance:
- 92% of farmer clients in Ghana and 82% in Mozambique said the agriculture loans had a positive impact on their life
- 66% of farmers increased their harvest
- Food security improved for 71% of AgFinance clients
- Developed 16 lessons-learned publications to educate the agriculture finance community.
- Grew our farmer support team to include seven agriculture program managers and 50 agricultural lending specialists.
Banco Oportunidade de Mozambique in Chimoio is working with the women of this soy and sesame Trust Group started by the group chairwoman, Coragem Sineque, pictured left. They receive training from Opportunity’s team in good agriculture practices, loans for inputs like high quality seed and fertilizer, and access to markets to ensure they can find a good buyer to pay fair market prices for their crops.
Based on their success, the group of women farmers are graduating from Trust Group loans to individual loans that will allow them to access larger loans with more flexible repayment terms.
You made a lasting impact in Latin America
Providing opportunities in Colombia
Expanding access to economic and educational opportunities has proven vitally important for low-income Colombian women entrepreneurs and their children. The positive impact of your support has rippled beyond entrepreneurs and school proprietors to build stronger communities across the country. Through your generosity, Opportunity has provided critical support, training, and economic opportunities to hardworking Colombian entrepreneurs and school proprietors.
During the first six months of 2018, Opportunity Colombia:
- Opened two new branches in rural, violence-affected Colombian communities.
- Grew the number of clients with loans by 19% from 6,180 to 7,348.
- Trained 658 clients to positively impact 3,290 people including family members.
- Updated our 7-module training series based on clients’ expressed needs from data collected through our Social Performance Management tool and client surveys.
- Supported Colombian schools who are investing 343 Opportunity School Improvement loans to enhance education quality for about 85,750 children through improved schools with better classrooms and gender-separated bathrooms.
Overcoming adversity in Nicaragua
Because of your ongoing support, our work in Nicaragua continues to bring hope to those who need it most. Through your generosity, Opportunity Nicaragua is a beacon for locally-driven poverty alleviation and sustainable community development. Amidst an ongoing national crisis, staff and clients have shown courage, resilience, and commitment. A few highlights in the first half of 2018 include:
- 94% of Emprendedora Technical School students remain on track for graduation in December. Staff transferred classes online during the most dangerous weeks of the crisis. The school has officially re-opened and students are back in classrooms.
- 310 farmers planted yucca in the Pacific South and Nueva Guinea, exceeding expectations during the national crisis. These yucca farmers persevered in planting their crops despite limited access to training and loans.
- The processing plant scored 97% on the updated Safe Quality Food audit, becoming recertified for the year. This accomplishment, despite substantial political roadblocks, serves as an important affirmation to buyers of the quality and stability of our plant.
- Opportunity has a footprint in Nicaragua that spans 60 rural communities where we have a strong focus on empowering women. Transformational activities for women include health training, cancer screening and prevention, and self-esteem courses.
Tim Strong, Head of Opportunity’s AgFinance program, says his greatest joy goes beyond helping farmers achieve substantial improvements in their crops and income, to encountering people right in their fields and witnessing their pride at being able to support their families.
When an Opportunity loan and training helped bring sprinkler-irrigated horticulture to Miguel Fabia’s farm where he grows potatoes and cabbages, he achieved such dramatic improvements in the quality of his crops and increases in his yield and income that he was able to create jobs for up to 18 neighbors – including the ladies pictured above.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11