Many women in India struggle to find the money to send their children to school. So a few years ago, Opportunity launched a school loan problem to help educate the future generations.
The Banking on Education pilot at Growing Opportunity Finance commenced in May 2010, focusing primarily on school fee loans, with a supplementary scholarship program. Both of these products are helping establish credibility and trust with clients and have created inroads with schools to promote scholastic leadership. As of December 2011, Opportunity India has 2,080 active school fee loans with an outstanding loan portfolio valuing $96,267, up from $68,075 in June 2011.
The first School Fee loan Trust Group formed in August is composed of 23 families who call themselves Rose Trust Group. Their School Fee loans average $220.
Opportunity India awards 75% of its scholarships to female students. The scholarships cover 80% of the cost of education while parents make a commitment to pay the remaining portion.
Plans for 2012 include:
School Fee loans will expand to additional branches based on our ability to fund.
Extend the scholarship program to provide scholarships to community college students who are in one or two-year vocational training programs.
Increase outreach to serve 6,500 families with School Fee loans.
Mercy comes from a lower middle class family, her father works as a caregiver earning about $3 per day to support his entire family. Mercy says she is grateful to Opportunity India for supporting her education. “I feel that with the scholarship I can now focus on my studies putting me in a position to achieve my dream to become a Software Engineer. The scholarship reduced my parent’s burden significantly and it gave me a new commitment toward my studies.” The scholarship covered most of the costs and she says finishing school will bring great honor to her family. She plans to achieve all she can to share that honor with her school and with Opportunity India. “I am grateful to Opportunity India.”
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