Opportunity International

Our mission is to provide opportunities for people in chronic poverty to transform their lives. Our strategy is to create jobs, stimulate small businesses and strengthen communities among the poor. Our method is to work through sustainable local microfinance institutions that provide small business loans, savings, insurance and training. Our commitment is motivated by Jesus Christ's call to serve the poor. Our core values are respect, commitment to the poor, integrity and stewardship.
Oct 7, 2013

How you have helped Mwashamba Ally

Mwashamba at home
Mwashamba at home

As a result of your partnership, Opportunity is helping families across Tanzania work their way out of poverty. Mwashamba Ally, one of our Tanzanian clients, owns a small retail store selling water, tea, chew gums and other small items. With her loan from Opportunity and her thriving business Mwashamba is able to pay for her daughter’s tuition fees at a nearby secondary school, feed her husband and children and is hoping to move her family from a rented home into a residential house.

Along with helping people like Mwashamba with your support we have also seen MicroEnsure Tanzania achieving unprecedented growth, now celebrating more than one million lives served. MicroEnsure recently brought on Urasa Sarakikya as its new Country Manager in Tanzania. Highly qualified, Urasa is expected to lead MicroEnsure Tanzania into new stages of growth and development. Other accomplishments for MicroEnsure Tanzania include:

  • Launched its first health insurance pilot in Tanzania, which provides coverage for a family of five for just $40 per year. 
  • Developed and implemented a health insurance program for coffee farmers on Mount Kilimanjaro in partnership with PharmAccess International, Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union and the Mission for Essential Medical Supplies for less than $20 per year. 
  • Trained medical staff on proper procedures, delivering new customer care and comprehensive reporting across health administration.  
  • Covered 7,000 unique lives with MicroEnsure’s newly implemented distribution model.
Oct 7, 2013

Afsa is now a leader of her community

 For 13 years, Afsa has served as the leader of her Opportunity Rwanda Trust Group located outside Kigali, Rwanda, where she lives with her husband and five children. Afsa, who once struggled to make ends meet selling sugar, rice and flour, now operates a thriving business selling colorful fabric used to craft women’s clothing. Additionally, she built and currently rents two houses, and she is building a small shop to sell her fabrics. 


“Before Opportunity Rwanda came,” she said, “most women I know sold their wares by walking up and down the street. They did not own anything - they eked out enough to survive - one day at a time. Some days were not so good. The difference between a good and a bad day was simply whether or not your family had enough to eat. Today, many of us who have become Opportunity clients have much to show for our hard work. Some of us have built homes; others have purchased a motorbike or car. All of us have invested substantially into our families.Opportunity Rwanda is a ladder that raises you from one place to another - the place I am today is much better!” 


Most significantly for Afsa, Opportunity Rwanda has helped her instill leadership skills among women, who are traditionally underappreciated. She strives to empower women as they learn the importance of discipline and handling money in ways that build trustworthiness and integrity. “It pleases me to know that people trust my guidance. Whenever I am chosen to lead, I am prepared because I feel confident.” According to Afsa, “Opportunity Rwanda teaches Trust Groups how to increase their income, live well in the community, care for their families and serve others. Learning these skills has not only helped me bring my business to profitability, but also improves my ability to partner with other women and community leaders."

Oct 7, 2013

Evans is unstoppable because of your support

Evans Ssenabulya and his wife, Roy, have three daughters under the age of eight. Like most parents, it was impossible for Evans to ignore the importance of investing in education as he watched his three beautiful girls grow up. He also noticed how many children in the community, mostly girls, were removed from school when their families became unable to cover expenses. In 2007, Evans decided to do something. He started a school of 100 students in a small wooden structure on a rented plot of land. Now, just six years later, he owns the land and has grown the Ridgeway School into a day and boarding program serving over 900 students. 

If you ask him, Evans will say that Opportunity International helped advance his dreams far beyond what he thought possible. Through three loans and a corresponding savings account, he was able to purchase land, construct buildings and open a retail store selling scholastic materials. Evans won’t stop there; he continues to dream about brighter futures for his students. He plans to refurbish and expand the existing facilities, increase enrollment to 5000, and introduce computer technology and life skills into the curriculum to better equip his students for the future. 

Opportunity believes that education should be a right, not a privilege and here’s what we are doing to help in Uganda.

Education Finance Products – 

With 99 active School Improvement loans and an outstanding portfolio valuing $1.5 million, Opportunity Uganda more than doubled the number of schools it added to its Banking on Education portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2012. Overall, Opportunity Uganda has transformed 122 schools since the program onset. Opportunity Uganda: 

  • Distributed 10,714 School Fee loans cumulatively, mainly through the Trust Group model, making a substantial impact on the number of clients who can now send their children to school. 
  • Provided 4,358 with School Fee loans this year helping families send their kids off to school. 
  • Is poised to launch EduSave, an education insurance product tied to savings accounts, in 2013.  

Opportunity’s EduSave product, designed with MicroEnsure enables parents to earn an extra safety net for their children’s education. EduSave works when a parent saves enough money to qualify for free insurance. For example, when a parent saves $25 they qualify for $125 in school fees insurance – if they die or become permanently disabled, a trusted individual receives a payout of 5x the savings balance to keep the child in school. The product launched in Malawi with 170,000 parents qualified for coverage on the first day. Our average savings account holder has 3.8 children – therefore, on its first day, EduSave covered 646,000 Malawian children. The product also went live on a national scale in Ghana in early 2013.

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