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.
May 18, 2011

Meet Transformational Impact Manager

Daniel with Clients in Rwanda
Daniel with Clients in Rwanda

 

Meet Daniel Ryumugabe, the transformational impact manager from Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) of Rwanda. About life in Rwanda today, he told us, “Today, we are not just Hutus and Tutsis, we are not our ethnic groups, we are all Rwandans and we share one language and one culture.” Daniel shared the story of his childhood as a Rwandan refugee living in Uganda, and how he struggled to get an education, the only child in his family to go to university. He also told us about his work at Opportunity Rwanda guiding staff members to incorporate transformative training into their daily contact with our microfinance clients. 
As he told us, “Poverty is not just a deficit, not just a lack of resources, it is a deprivation. It is a trap with many cords. If you offer one solution–loans–but there are other problems related to health or financial education, the client cannot get out of the poverty trap.” Daniel reminds us of the complexity that is the problem of poverty, and he is also working hard to find solutions and create true transformation in Rwanda, physically, mentally and spiritually for the individuals who are working their way out of the cycle of poverty. 

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May 18, 2011

New Services Prepare Clients for Future

Regina Zango and her family in Maputo
Regina Zango and her family in Maputo

 

Opportunity Mozambique now offers its clients the protection of a credit life insurance policy that includes funeral coverage. This policy, developed with the help of Opportunity International’s microinsurance subsidiary MicroEnsure, helps families maintain the progress they have achieved even when faced with life’s tragedies.  
This enhanced policy is being offered at the same low rate as the original life insurance policy but includes new features that reflect the realities of those we seek to serve. Credit life and funeral insurance relieve the financial burden from a client in the case of loss of a loved one, and also relieve dependents from inheriting credit obligations left by a family member.
With this new product, Opportunity is also better able to address the needs of Africa’s diverse families who take on the care of orphaned children. Another significant benefit is funeral coverage for stillbirths, a sad but not uncommon reality. This newly launched product is just one way Opportunity is demonstrating its understanding and compassion for the families it serves in Mozambique. 

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May 18, 2011

Surpassing Goals in Mexico

Client Marcelina Sanchez
Client Marcelina Sanchez

As of December 31, 2010, Opportunity Mexico surpassed its target to reach 6,000 families by serving 6,259 active loan clients through three branches. In the past two years, Opportunity Mexico has been working hard to build its client base and reach more people with microfinance solutions to help them work their way out of poverty. Under the leadership of CEO Maria Clara Martinez, the institution has revamped its processes and increased its outreach by more than 27%, up from 4,907 loan clients one year ago. The team retained its 100% rate of operational sustainability during this time of significant growth.

Opportunity Mexico continues to improve its operational processes and expand its base in 2011, aiming to double loan client outreach. The institution will also launch individual loan products in June 2011 to provide qualified clients with training and loans geared toward established businesses. In 2010, Opportunity Mexico grew by establishing a partnership with the Youth Integration Center (a Mexican government entity) to provide clients with awareness training to prevent domestic violence and substance abuse. They also enhanced existing, and developing new, staff training modules to achieve its goal of standardizing all processes and provide its clients with consistent financial products and services, and exceptional customer care. Opportunity also conducted monthly loan officer training to enhance staff members’ skills and successfully instill clients with confidence, motivation and transformation within the Trust Group methodology. In addition, a partnership with Alpha International was established to provide all staff with foundational training in Christian principles. All the participants agreed that the training will positively impact their ability to be effective in their roles.

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