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.
Jun 30, 2016

Banking on Africa Final Report

Samuel on his farm in Rwanda
Samuel on his farm in Rwanda

Thank you to all those who have supported Opportunity International’s Banking on Africa initiative through Global Giving. We are deactivating this project because we have surpassed our fundraising goal thanks to the generosity of donors like you, and we are redirecting our fundraising efforts to other areas of need around the world.

With your help, Opportunity has decisively scaled its agriculture services in Africa. When small scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa receive farming loans, savings accounts and other tools to manage cash flow between harvests, they significantly increase their productivity and yields and receive fair prices for their crops. Each loan is packaged with targeted financial products, training in modern farming practices and links to extension services to maximize farmer outputs and to ensure measurable economic and social impact.

In 2015, Opportunity empowered farmers by delivering 128,200 agricultural loans valuing $17.5 million, representing a 77% growth since year-end 2014. With each passing year our impact grows and we are grateful for your generosity that makes our holistic approach possible. You are equipping entrepreneurs to perpetuate a cycle of lasting transformation in their lives, in their families’ lives and across their communities.

We encourage you to follow Opportunity International on Facebook and Twitter to see our work in action, and visit our Global Giving page to see our other active projects.

Thank you!

Links:

Jun 28, 2016

Nicaragua Summer Report

Students from the Emprendedora Technical School
Students from the Emprendedora Technical School

Nearly ten years ago, Opportunity International embarked on a new program, expanding our mission to help Nicaraguan families and farmers unite to fully utilize their community’s economic, social and cultural assets. Today, all of the major programs, including the new yucca processing plant, the Emprendedora Technical School and the Pacaya Lodge, are achieving measurable success. We are grateful for your support and are excited to share the latest updates on how we are empowering Nicaraguans to improve their farms, businesses and entire communities.

Opportunity nearly doubled the number of Nicaraguan farmers it serves with technical support to 1,165 in March, up from 687 a year ago. Construction and installation continue at the new yucca processing plant which is now operational and will eventually help more than 1,000 yucca farmers extend the fresh time of their yucca from 24 hours to seven days. This will help marginalized farmers in remote areas increase their profits and better provide for their families, especially when combined with resilient farming techniques developed by agronomists. We are even collaborating with NASA’s climate team to inform weather projections and to provide farmers with better seeds, drought resistant measures and training.

The Emprendedora Technical School continues to redefine education by instilling ecological and environmental awareness through the Three R concept: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The students receive a quality education while also managing an agro-business which provides experiential agriculture training and a strong source of income for the school. Excitement is also building as this year’s 48 seniors prepare to graduate - Emprendedora Technical School’s very first graduating class! These seniors are attending workshops where they are building resumes and practicing interview skills to empower them on their journeys toward independence.

Students are also receiving professional development opportunities at the Pacaya Lodge, a new environmentally sustainable lodge in the vibrant community of Laguna de Apoyo. In a country where fewer than 10% of rural youth finish high school, the lodge supports 296 students by contributing a percentage of revenues to Emprendedora Technical School. The lodge will not only create jobs and support education, but will also bring tourism and an influx of new businesses to the region, benefiting the entire community. 

Links:

Jun 28, 2016

Meet Alice - An Entrepreneur and Farmer from Uganda

Alice on her farm in Uganda
Alice on her farm in Uganda

Mother to eight children, Alice certainly has her hands full. Surrounded by abject poverty in rural Uganda, life has not been easy, and Alice is no stranger to rolling up her sleeves to work alongside her husband, rearing cattle for beef. Today, her farm is thriving, and she has even opened her first savings account which allowed her to expand by purchasing dairy cows.

Alice first learned about Opportunity Uganda in 2013 and what she has achieved since then is nothing short of amazing. Having struggled to run a profitable farming operation, Alice was not only grateful to access a loan, which she invested to purchase additional head of cattle, but she was especially delighted to receive the business skills and financial literacy training she needed to become a successful businesswoman. A natural born entrepreneur, she put her training into action and stepped up to help the other women members of the Empara Farmer’s Trust Group along their own journeys out of poverty.

With a few loans over the past three years and extensive business skills and technical farming training, Alice’s list of achievements is extensive. She has learned the importance of diversifying her business as she expands to reduce the gap created by seasonal agricultural incomes. In response, she began to grow and sell eucalyptus trees and she also reinvested her profits to construct a rental building with 10 rooms to bring in consistent income. Perhaps most importantly, Alice is giving back to her community by creating jobs for four neighbors and acting as a mentor to women in her community who benefit from her willingness to share business management and modern farming practice advice.

As Alice said, “I dream that all eight of my children will be able to finish their education and that my business will continue to grow. I am grateful that Opportunity Uganda provided the tools I needed to succeed, to empower me to achieve growth in my business.”

Alice is just one of many inspiring entrepreneurs who you have helped uplift in Uganda. You are equipping entrepreneurs, especially women, to perpetuate a cycle of lasting transformation in their lives, in their families’ lives and across their communities.

Links:

 

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