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Oct 1, 2018

Meet Joyce - A Clothing Shop Owner in Uganda

Joyce is no stranger to the daily challenges and sacrifices of raising children in Kampala, Uganda. With five kids to support the years were often tough, but Joyce faced every trial head on. Never shrinking back through the ups and downs, she held fast to her dream to educate her children. Her friends and neighbors were not surprised when she sent her first child off to the local college since she was not afraid of hard work and was always faithful when things did not pan out as she hoped.

Joyce is the first person to say she didn’t face a day alone. She had a business partner—she had Opportunity. Having joined an Opportunity Uganda Trust Group back in 2004, Joyce delights in explaining what she used each of her ten loans for as she launched and expanded her clothing resale shop. She says one of her greatest joys has been educating her children on her own, which is not a certainty for all families in Uganda. 

Today, Joyce has employed her business savvy to expand once again. She has diversified her income to construct rental housing units. Not only do the two-room units provide additional revenue each month for the family, but they also fill a need in her village for affordable housing options. Joyce is an inspiration to other mothers in her community and is blessed they come to her for advice on how to support their own children.

Your donations help provide tools and training that empower women like Joyce around the world, so that they may raise their families out of poverty. Thank you!

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Sep 24, 2018

Education in Nicaragua

The 2018 academic year at Emprendadora Technical School kicked off in January with full-capacity enrollment of just over 300 students. Additionally:

  • The new library and multi-media center were completed. The IT team is finalizing the project to provide internet connectivity across the entire campus.
  • The well continues to perform well, pumping water at desired levels. The well is expected to earn nearly $200,000 in revenue in 2018, pushing the school toward sustainability.
  • Staff remained heavily focused on post-graduation activities, including job placement and university application assistance.

Chicken and Organic Farming Businesses. With your support, we doubled yucca production compared to the previous year. The harvest will be sold to a processing plant, and proceeds will contribute toward school sustainability. This season, the school planted beans as well as yucca. We also: 

  • Purchased 800 chicks, doubling the inventory of 630 in the prior year.
  • Increased inventory of fumigation pumps, grass reapers, tools, and protective equipment.
  • Delivered experiential learning to students who farmed the micro-tunnel, maintained temperature and humidity logs, and learned trellising and mulching techniques.

Goals for 2018 include the purchase of a pickup truck to deliver the school’s produce to buyers, and improvement to one of the macro tunnels to increase air circulation.

Teacher Capacity-building amps up education quality. Because of your investment, 18 teachers participated in training to build their capacity and competency to better serve their students. Teacher training curriculum included:  

  • Active teaching techniques that support multiple student learning styles 
  • Work-plan development for maximum classroom outcomes and results  
  • Effective and open communication among teachers and students 
  • Incorporating the environment and natural resources in learning objectives 

The goal for 2018 is to continue to build up teachers’ capacities and enable them to achieve greater results in the classroom. We will define a more robust training plan to address specific areas identified by the teachers. 

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Jul 19, 2018

Opportunity Clients in Colombia

At Opportunity International’s Fifth Annual Congress of Leaders, our staff celebrated the continuation of Opportunity’s work and the lives of our clients in Colombia. Clients like, Basilia and Omaira. Basilia, who now leads a life of dignity, having worked hard to utilize her loans to transform her house into a safe, comfortable home for her family. Omaira represents what it looks like to live with empathy. After receiving loans that created opportunities to better her own life, she changed someone else’s by giving a plot of her land to another family. As our programs grow, so will our ability to provide the opportunities necessary for people like Basilia and Omaira to better their own lives and the lives of others.

Opportunity continues to reach an increasing number of clients in Colombia. From 2014 to 2017, Opportunity has increased the number of savings accounts from 24,816 to 49,604 accounts. Despite economic challenges in 2017 which made growth in loan services difficult, Opportunity reached an additional 1,000 small business clients in the first few months of 2018, increasing our number of loan clients from 6,180 to 7,282.

Opportunity’s partner NGO, AGAPE, also expanded its reach in 2017. Over the course of the year, AGAPE conducted 2,438 training sessions, including training of 498 Trust Group leaders. In order to fight the difficulty of household instability, AGAPE also provided 188 families with technical assistance for the Roof & Floor home improvement program.

Opportunity Colombia continues to progress its Educational Finance program. The model of EduFinance provides loans for both the providers and recipients of education. First, Opportunity offers School Fee Loans to allow families with inconsistent income to pay the payments required at the start of the school year. In 2017, the EduFinance program in Colombia provided families with 491 School Fee Loans to support the educational costs of approximately 1,525 children. Opportunity also works to create better schooling opportunities for children through its School Improvement Loans. These loans used by educators and providers who are running private schools with quality education options for children. Educators used 414 School Improvement Loans in 2017, amounting to $754,540 in loans to enhance education quality through improved infrastructure such as better classrooms and gender-separated bathrooms.

Finally, Opportunity’s partner, AGAPE worked hard in 2017 to create awareness and move clients toward clean water resources. 289 individuals from 11 Trust Groups participated in training aimed at creating awareness of the danger in consuming unsafe water. As a result of the pilot program, 52 clients indicated their interest in obtaining a BioSand water filter in the future.

Thanks to your donations, clients like Basilia and Omaira have access to the tools and training they need to support their families in Colombia.

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