Education is the single largest determining factor for future economic status. Yet, 130 million young people worldwide are not in school — and 70% of them are girls. If a girl cannot complete secondary school, she is at a higher risk of illiteracy, HIV and early marriage, offering little chance of reaching her potential.
Opportunity International sees investing in education as an instrumental component in helping our clients to break out of the cycle of poverty. With your support, Opportunity International is funding children’s education by providing loans to proprietors to build and expand schools and helping provide school fee loans to parents so they can send their children to school.
Meet one of our loan clients Comfort Appiah. Comfort saw that the children in her neighborhood needed access to a quality education. Today, she is an education finance loan client with Opportunity International and is the founder, owner and director of Ahobrase Academy in Accra, Ghana.
Ahobrase Academy began in 1998 as a small nursery in Comfort’s home. Comfort realized that the children in her neighborhood loitered and never attended classes, so she wanted to provide a place for them to learn. In the beginning, it was difficult. She had to go out into the community and bring these children, some without clothes or shoes, into her home for lessons and food. She would bathe, clothe and feed them. The next day, the children would either return naked again or they would not come back at all. After a while, a friend advised her to remove the clothes and slippers and send them home as they had arrived. This worked like magic — the children came back every day. Gradually, as the number of students grew, Comfort thought of ways to expand since Ahobrase was outgrowing her small porch.
In 2009, upon a friend’s advice, Comfort turned to Opportunity for a school proprietor loan that would provide capital to purchase a building and expand the school. Today, Ahobrase Academy serves more than 700 students from pre-school to junior high school with an education previously unavailable in their neighborhood. The school is a source of jobs, with 38 academic and non-teaching staff. Comfort’s dream is to complete the expansion of her school and to buy a larger school bus. She’s proud of the education that she and her husband are now able to give the local children.
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