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.
May 18, 2011

Jumping for Opportunities

Jumping out of a plane at 18,000 feet is scary, but not nearly as  scary as living in chronic poverty. That’s the motivation behind Jump for Opportunity. Twenty-nine people jumped out of a plane the weekend of Feb. 18-20 in Orlando, Fla. to raise funds and awareness for Opportunity’s poverty alleviation work.

Among the jumpers were young, award-winning entrepreneurs such as Michael Simmons, Ryan P. Allis and Jason Duff. Local media in the jumpers’ hometowns picked up the inspiring story and through online fundraisers and other sources, the group ultimately raised more than $100,000 for Opportunity’s microfinance initiatives. This is just one of the many ways YAO (Young Ambassadors for Opportunity) members are helping to raise funds for Opportunity's initiatives all over the globe.  

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May 18, 2011

The Power of a Microloan for a Businesswoman

 

Joyce Opoku dreamed of starting an early childhood care and learning facility that would provide children living in poverty with a good foundation for first grade. In 2005, the Lucky Child Daycare Center opened with seven pupils in her father’s concrete block house in a poor suburb of Kumasi, Ghana. Then in 2009, the center was invited to become part of the IDP Rising Schools Program, a unique partnership between Opportunity and the IDP Foundation, Inc. 
The program’s goal is to boost the development of existing, but very poor non-governmental schools for disadvantaged children throughout Ghana. With a focus on helping schools improve business management, administrative effectiveness and teacher development, the program also builds a sustainable, holistic, educational model that can be replicated throughout the developing world. 
Joyce received 16 weeks of training in business management and accounting skills with Opportunity International, and a six-month loan to make physical improvements to the school. Now that she has repaid the loan, she is requesting a second loan to buy a permanent piece of land. With support from the IDP Rising Schools program, Joyce is helping 150 children embark on the path to a better future. 
(Impact Newsletter, Spring 2011)

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Apr 12, 2011

Seeing the Difference a Microloan Makes: Colombia

 

Emily Soltvedt, Young Ambassadors for Opportunity leader and Board of Governors member, took an insightful trip to Colombia with Opportunity International. She was so inspired by the people she met there, and she shares a story about a client who "took out a loan for her business, and is making high end baby and children’s clothes, which she sells in a store near the main market area. Her business has been successful, and in turn she has started a foundation as part of her business. She hires and trains single pregnant women living in poverty, who have no means of supporting themselves and their child, to make these clothes. The women get to keep the first set of clothes they create for their own child. Then, throughout their pregnancy, they receive support and learn a skill that they can use to generate income once the baby is born. I love this client story, because it is a striking example of how these loans have a big impact, not just on the clients themselves, but also on their entire communities." 
Emily is just one of our amazing YAO members who are truly making a difference in their community by spreading the news of the work that Opportunity is doing, and the real difference a small business loan or a savings account can make in peoples' lives. To find out how you can be involved with YAO, or with Opportunity International's Board of Governors, check out the following:

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