Help Nicaragua's Poor Climb out of Poverty

by Opportunity International
Aug 21, 2012

Artisan and Community Support in Nicaragua

The Artisan Support Program

With enhanced brand identity and World Free Trade Organization (WFTO) status, representatives of the Ojalá! entrepreneur cooperative attended a week long home décor trade show in Atlanta.  The show proved successful:

  • Over 150 stores throughout the United States now carry Ojalá!  Products.
  • Staff in Nicaragua shipped 15 cases, the largest order to-date.
  • 750 handmade items from our clients reached United States stores, representing more than $8,700 in sales and growing first quarter sales alone to $11,000.

The success driven by the Ojalá!  trade show appearance led to signing on for another trade show in July and increased sales projections for 2012 to $47,000.

The Community Infrastructure and Leadership

Your support for community-led projects promotes leadership development among adults and youth and increases quality of life and unity within Nicaraguan communities.

  • La Granadina Cooperative organizes projects that address a local issue or improve the local quality of life conditions. A recent undertaking was the La Laguna Road Repairs project which improved road conditions using community generated funding and labor. A previous effort, the La Laguna Water Project resulted in clean, affordable water to 215 households.
  • 380 Nicaraguan youths participate in Young Life, which combines discipleship and leadership training, meeting weekly and encouraging youth to get involved in the community.

The communities’ coordination resulted in the provision of affordable bus transportation for students at the cost of $.40 per student per day. This illustrates the community’s support for Community Economic Development projects, and is another example of how Nicaraguans invest their time and skills to improve life for families in their community. 

Lessons Learned in Nicaragua

  • Lending to the poor creates benefits beyond charity, while co-investing with the poor creates benefits beyond lending.
  • Conducting an asset assessment creates a baseline of data based on potential and opportunity, whereas a needs assessment creates a baseline of data based on problems and limitations.
  • Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) development in value chains allow financial intermediaries to address chronic issues of small holder farmers such as: lack of quality inputs, inconsistency in quality, lack of volume and lack of financing – while defining and developing market relationships. 

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Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Ian Haisley
Chicago, Illinois United States
$1,705 raised of $5,000 goal
31 donations
$3,295 to go
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