Recently named a top-running bank by the National Bank of Rwanda, Opportunity Rwanda has achieved steady growth in all areas of outreach. Living up to its name, Banki ya Bose, or Bank for All, Opportunity Rwanda increased its savings outreach by a remarkable 40% which helped the bank double its savings portfolio over one year. The growth is attributed to the savings culture it is embedding in communities through widespread awareness campaigns and training.
Amidst a history of growth the bank has consistently maintained a high-quality portfolio. Opportunity Rwanda recently celebrated reaching the milestone of 100% Financial Sustainability which CEO Jeffrey Lee attributes to ongoing development training and mentoring for both staff and clients.
Your support has helped us develop a number of product innovations that bring even more opportunities to families trying to work themselves out of poverty.
Product innovations open doors and protect against loss. Loan officers work closely with clients to ensure they have the right services to build thriving businesses.
Training bridges a critical information gap. To achieve our vision to face poverty alleviation in a holistic way, Opportunity Rwanda delivered training to 7,000 clients, including the family pictured left, during the first half of 2012. In addition to financial inclusion with a broad range of customized product and services, the bank delivers life-changing information through its Holistic Life Improvement modules. The 60 modules cover three broad subjects including:
Business Management Modules: Plan For Better Business, Manage Your Business Finances, Increase Your Sales
Household Financial Management Modules: Using Wisdom in Saving, Plan For Better Health, Using Health Care Services
Health Management Modules: Confronting Malaria in Our Community, Preventing HIV/AIDS: It Is Our Choice, Diarrhea: Its Management and Prevention
During weekly meetings, many other important non-financial informational training sessions that promote transformation are addressed:
Thank you for all your support that helps make this possible!
Families mired in poverty are making the most of the opportunities you make possible, living their dream of having a different and better life. Because you invested in Opportunity Rwanda, we can continue to invest in people like Alphonsine Mukamuhizi as we expand deeper into rural areas like the community of Ntunga, where she lives and where the daily challenges associated with poverty hit the hardest.
In the rural village of Ntunga, members of the close-knit and aptly named “Those Who Trust Each Other” Trust Group gather together to discuss business practices and to receive training. This weekly meeting has fostered a sense of community and teamwork among the hardworking group of entrepreneurs focused on putting food on the family table and getting the children into school. Alphonsine gratefully accepted the opportunity you placed in her path – she transformed your opportunity into a new and better life. She invested her first loan of $83 to buy salt and sugar to sell and as she increased her profit she used additional loans to diversify her product line to include soap and other necessities. With a growing customer base and business mentoring and training Alphonsine was on her way to profitability. With her increased income, Alphonsine did what we witness mothers do time and again. She invested in her family. Her family began to enjoy better nutrition and a concrete slab in a home that until recently had compacted dirt floors.Today, because of the opportunities you created, the Mukamuhizi family has electricity in their home. “I am proud, I have worked hard and my family is better for it.” With Opportunity’s help, parents like Alphonsine are able to capitalize on their skills with newfound confidence, and begin to take steps up the rungs of the economic ladder, achieving tangible gains for the whole family.
Approximately 70% of Africans work in agriculture and these households are some of the poorest in the world. Opportunity found that farmers in Africa are producing at only 40% of their potential because they cannot access the needed best-practice information, financing and markets. With your help we work with small-scale farmers in Rwanda to adopt more productive agriculture practices, link up with buyers and extension service providers, and access inputs to grow more food.
Opportunity spent 2010 and 2011 working with small-scale farmers and learning from them which financial tools and services they need to succeed. In 2012, Opportunity’s Agriculture Finance team aims to bring services closer to clients using mobile phone banking. This gives clients access to their funds from their own rural village, and uses GPS to capture household data and map out farm plots that show how to get the best return from their land.
The Agriculture Finance program has grown tremendously from its start nearly five years ago.
Empowering Women to Save
Opportunity International realizes that a key part of empowering women to fight poverty lies in providing them with tools to save their money.
In 2008, Opportunity International embarked on its most ambitious effort to date, a $123.6 million Bankingon Africa campaign to expand financial services for poor families throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including Rwanda. With your partnership, we celebrate the successful completion of the fundraising efforts and we press on toward Banking on Africa’s goal: reaching 5 million clients in Africa by 2015 to impact 30 million people.
In Rwanda, deposit clients have increased by over 65% to 75,029 by the end of 2011. Loan clients have increased from 30,381 in 2010 to 40,662 in 2011.
Your support is helping women save for their future, and protect the dreams of themselves and their children.
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