We are working to expand our education finance program across the world, but two countries that continue to have the most successful programs are Uganda and India. Read some recent highlights:
Opportunity Uganda’s Banking on Education pilot is serving 94 schools with active loans, up 20% from 2011 year-end. Opportunity Uganda has slowed lending to avoid over-indebting entrepreneurs during a time of double digit inflation and spiking food costs throughout the country. Opportunity is assessing client surveys and market conditions to determine when to resume lending to school proprietors.
Opportunity Uganda continues to provide families with student loans covering school fees and expenses to keep children in school. As of June 30, 2012 the current active school fee loans grew to 5,042, up tenfold from the Q4 2011 low of 568, with an outstanding portfolio valuing $677,560. Other highlights include:
- Opportunity Uganda developed a Youth Savings account to encourage parents to save for school tuition and costs associated with education. The product is now expected to roll out with the completion of savings awareness training and marketing materials.
- The bank signed an agreement to partner with Educate!, an organization committed to education in Uganda. Educate! Is an experiential learning and mentoring program that provides support to young leaders and potential entrepreneurs across Uganda. Through their advocacy efforts, the leadership and entrepreneurship curriculum they write in partnership with the government of Uganda and International Labor Organization reaches up to 25,000 students per year, like those pictured right. Opportunity Uganda is partnering to provide awareness around the importance of savings and access to the newly developed Youth Savings accounts to Educate! students. The project is expected to roll out later in 2012.
As of June 30, 2012, Growing Opportunity Finance in Chennai, India has 764 active school fee loans helping families cover the expenses including school fees and books. The outstanding school fee loan portfolio values $17,786. Student loans are currently on hold at GO Finance due to lack of funding. In the meantime the institution is improving its credit policies for the product to include a credit check to confirm identification and ensure clients do not become over-indebted due to outstanding loans with other institutions.
GO Finance has also provided scholarships to 108 families. GO Finance believes through this scholarship program that educating children has an impact not only on the individual, but the family and the community as a whole. GO’s Scholarship program is intended to help students break the cycle of poverty and to harness their talent to make them productive members of society.
- Growing Opportunity Finance awards 75% of its scholarships to female students.
- Go Finance also awards two-year scholarships to students in the latter years of high school.
- Feedback has shown that the scholarship program is serving as an excellent platform for students like Vincent, pictured right, to reach their goals and secure their futures.
- Vincent is just one worthy recipient of the two-year scholarship to Ebenezer Matriculation School. He achieved among the highest scores in the state on several high school exams and yet his family’s financial situation threatened to impede his dream to pursue Computer Engineering. Please join us in celebrating Vincent’s recent news of his placement in the prestigious Anna University in Chennai.