More than 67 million children worldwide are not in school. Many of these children belong to families who are struggling to escape poverty but do not have adequate resources to provide a better future for their children. Research shows that education is not only a proven path out of poverty but also improves life expectancy, boosts income and reduces child marriages. Education is a powerful tool that enables both children and adults to rise out of poverty. With this knowledge, Opportunity is committed to equipping families and education entrepreneurs with valuable financial services and training so that every child has the opportunity to learn in a classroom.
Opportunity’s multifaceted Education Finance Initiative supports the family with School Fee loans, insurance and Tertiary loans. School Fee loans and insurance through the recently launched EduSave program help keep children in school in the event of a parent’s or caregiver’s death or disablement. Additionally, Tertiary loans provide financial support for individuals who go on to receive higher education. To date, Opportunity has issued 6,200 School Fee loans that have served 19,200 students in Malawi, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Dominican Republic.
The Education Finance Initiative also provides services to education entrepreneurs to ensure that the children who are able to attend school have an adequate school to attend. Opportunity has conducted eight targeted training sessions for 540 teachers and school proprietors in Ghana since Education Finance’s inception. In addition to Ghana, School Improvement loans are now offered in Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, Dominican Republic and Kenya. In those countries, a total of 880 School Improvement loans have impacted 219,500 students who are now benefit from improved educational facilities that better equip them to break free from the cycle of poverty.
School proprietor and client, Franklyn, used Opportunity’s School Improvement Loans to recover from tragedy. A powerful storm destroyed the roof and two classrooms of the Tower of David Academy. The local bank considered the school too small and would not offer Franklyn a loan, but a student’s mother told her about Opportunity International. With her first Opportunity loan, Franklyn repaired the devastated roof and classrooms and purchased desks and computers. To date she has used four Opportunity loans to improve and expand her school which now serves 170 students in nine classrooms. Franklyn’s determination, paired with access to School Improvement loans, has supported transformational, education opportunities that provide hope for the future.