Microloans Create Opportunities for Indian Women

by Opportunity International
Oct 25, 2011

Activity Highlights

Ending Domestic Violence 

Opportunity and the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC) bring light to the deep-seated assumptions and attitudes toward women. PCVC conducts seminars on domestic violence, challenging assumptions and leading open discussions. “I found this training sessions very useful. There are a number of women in my Trust Group who are facing domestic violence. I am looking forward to taking the message to them,” says Sheela, leader of the Baba Trust Group (pictured left).Opportunity India is also addressing suicide prevention. Opportunity and SNEHA educate Trust Groups on suicide prevention and possible solutions to depression. The Trust Group setting builds a safe environment to address these challenging issues. 

Quality of Life Improvements

Opportunity India, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, conducted a housing survey at four branches to measure the need and interest for financing home improvements. As a response to the high rate of positive responses, we are now developing Housing Loans to match the needs of our clients while ensuring we keep the loans affordable and relevant. Thirty clients received home improvement loans so far this year with a goal to fund 300 in the remaining months. 

Education Loan Products

The Banking on Education pilot at Opportunity India commenced in May 2010, focusing primarily on school fee loans, with a supplementary scholarship program.  Both of these products are helping Opportunity India establish credibility and trust with clients in the education sector and have created inroads with schools to promote scholastic leadership. As of June 2011, India has 4,759 active student fee loans with an outstanding loan portfolio valuing $68,075.

Ashwini and her family value the education of women in their community in India. In the past, Ashwini’s father borrowed from money lenders, putting himself at risk for high interest repayment rates. The danger of this financial decision means that he has been unable to pay back the loans, perpetuating cycles of debt and poverty. With the help of an Opportunity scholarship, Ashwini is guaranteed to finish the last two years of her schooling. She can now fulfill her childhood dream to one day become an engineer. 


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Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.opportunity.org
Project Leader:
Emily Engel
Oak Brook, Illinois United States

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