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Dec 17, 2019

Unlocking Quality Education for This Generation

Samuel
Samuel

In 2013, 87 students shared three small classrooms at Talents Secondary School in Uganda.

Samuel, the school owner, had decided to start his own school after his own experience as a teacher. He was rarely paid on time, which is why many of his colleagues showed up to work irregularly. He saw how students often sat in crowded classrooms without teachers, which caused many parents to send their children elsewhere. 

The demand for quality schools represents one of the biggest, unmet market opportunities in the world. Parents around the world, regardless of income, want to give their children a good education. In low-income communities, parents will often spend upwards of 10-25% of their household expenditures on education for their children. The good news is that local educators like Samuel are stepping up to fill the gaps left by public school systems.

For the first few years, Samuel rented the land for his school, so he was unable to improve the classrooms or build new structures when his enrollment increased. In 2017, after finding a plot of land across the road, Samuel accessed a School Improvement Loan to build his new campus, on his own land.

The loan offered Samuel the working capital he needed to begin building his new structures, while still operating his school at the rented location. Throughout 2018, Samuel oversaw construction and helped design the campus he wanted – and in January 2019, he opened his new campus, welcoming more than 400 students who enrolled.

Today, only a small fraction of affordable private school owners like Samuel— who are serving an estimated 300 million students around the world — have access to the capital and support they need to grow and improve their schools.

You can help bridge the gap. Thank you for your support!

Dec 17, 2019

Creating Opportunities for Colombian Families

Trust Group in Colombia
Trust Group in Colombia

Proposed Project to Establish Savings & Loans Groups in Bogotá

Opportunity aims to launch Savings & Loans Groups in Bogota, focusing specifically on reaching and serving displaced families and victims. Activities over the next two years include:

  1. Group Formation: Opportunity will meet with local community members and help them form groups of 10-15 members. Usually, groups are made up of neighbors who already know and trust each other. Groups are provided with a lock box and choose leaders to manage the group’s fund. Over two years, Opportunity aims to form a total of 40 groups, reaching 520 total families.
  2. Training: Every other week for eight months, groups will meet to receive training to build their skills and confidence in managing finances, as well as in strengthening interpersonal relationships. Members will also receive ongoing support and guidance in rebuilding their lives after conflict. Over time, group members learn how to effectively manage and participate in their savings group, how to invest savings in the group to earn dividends at the end of the savings cycle, and how to continue growing their income after the saving cycle concludes.
  3. Lending: During the first six weeks after groups are established, members will contribute “shares” (usually increments of $2 or $3) to the group’s collective fund. After six weeks, the group will use the fund to make informal loans to individual group members and sets an agreed-upon interest rate and repayment periods.
  4. Earning: As loans are repaid with interest, the group’s total fund grows. After eight months, the group concludes its cycle and distributes the bigger fund among its members according to how many “shares” each member had invested in the fund.
  5. Recycling: With their increased savings, members can choose to start a new Savings & Loans cycle with their group, repeating the process to continue earning interest from their savings. Groups may also invite new members to help more of their neighbors leverage their savings to earn income. Other members, with improved financial skills and larger savings, may choose to open their first bank account with a financial institution, continuing their journeys toward economic empowerment.

Families throughout Bogota are dreaming of a better future for their children–and need your support to start their journeys out of poverty. With a gift to Opportunity Colombia, you can help launch this important project, and equip families displaced by violence with the tools they need to grow their incomes, send their children to school and transform their futures. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request!

Links:

Dec 17, 2019

Rising up from extreme poverty

Millie, Farmer, Uganda
Millie, Farmer, Uganda

Ending extreme poverty today requires helping parents grow their businesses so they can use the profits to provide for their families. Many of these clients are women like Millie in Uganda, who grows coffee to support her 12 grandchildren. She partnered with Opportunity, received loans for fertilizer and tools, and was trained on best practices. Now Millie 1) grows twice as much as her neighboring farmers, 2) has diversified the crops she grows so that she is protected if one has a bad season, and 3) used her profits to build a room on her property that she is renting for additional income. We celebrate Millie’s transformation from a fledgling farmer to a stable provider with multiple revenue streams! 

To ensure that the cycle of poverty stops with this generation, we are helping Millie’s grandchildren—and millions of other children in poverty-stricken neighborhoods—go to school and pave a pathway out of poverty. We empower parents to send their children to school with special financing and training, and we walk alongside educators as they work to improve their school grounds, classrooms, standards, and curriculums.

Links:

 
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