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© 2021 Opportunity InternationalOpportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692).

News Blog

A Message from our Patron HRH The Princess Royal

by Opportunity International

  HRH The Princess Royal, our Patron, has sent the following message thanking our supporters for the wonderful impact that they have been part of.  I have been Patron of Opportunity International for over 20 years and have watched the organisation go from strength to strength. Today, 1.5 million men and women across Africa, and over 10 million worldwide, are working toward a better future. Without your support this would not have been possible. Opportunity International is constantly adapting to…

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A Candle Loses Nothing in Lighting Another

by Kelly Jennings-Robinson

 Accra, Ghana Linda Nyarko was just thirteen years old when her father died, leaving her mother and six children behind. With so many brothers and sisters to feed, Linda decided to work in the local market as a porter to earn money for her family. She wanted to drop out of school but her mother insisted that she complete her education. With her mother’s encouragement as well as the support of her teachers who often provided her with food and money, Linda was able to attend vocational school where…

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A day in the life of a Ghanaian loan officer

by Opportunity International

Loan officers are crucial in helping people to access the finance and training they need to build secure livelihoods. They facilitate trust groups, deliver training, assist clients in accessing loans, set up savings accounts and regularly provide support and advice.   Some women can feel uncomfortable if the loan officer is a man, and will shy away from getting a loan.  Female loan officers, like Apoyeri, are therefore hugely important in ensuring that women feel more confident joining financial…

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One Woman. One Opportunity.

by Kelly Jennings-Robinson

Happy International Women's Day!  Did you know that 95% of Opportunity International's loan clients are women?  Why? A woman is an investment. A woman is a change-agent. She can feed her family. Raise her children. Build her business. Manage her farm. Employ her neighbours. She can inspire sustainable transformation and create a new story for herself, her children and her entire community. A women is resilient and determined in the face of hardship. A woman is powerful and full of often-untapped…

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Microfinance Offers Better Balance for Women

by Pete Parisetti. Pete manages our programmes in Rwanda and is based in Glasgow.

Under the overall theme “Balance for Better”, the 2019 International Women’s Day campaign affirms that “Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue”. No truer words were spoken about the complex network of connections that links microfinance, women’s empowerment and the wellbeing of entire communities. Microfinance is known to be effective in lifting people out of poverty, but aggressive practices by some commercial lenders has led to distortions in the past. Since the early…

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How do you take your coffee?

by Kelly Jennings-Robinson

How do you take your coffee?  Whether it's black or milk with two sugars, why not make yourself a piping hot cup to sip as you read about our client, Teddy Namagembe?  She has a closer connection  to your cuppa than you might think. Time to put the kettle on! Meet Teddy. She is a 52-year old coffee farmer Uganda and always has been. As a child she used to help her parents on their coffee farm and she knows all there is to know about coffee growing. The work is hard. She works around 12 hours…

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A fertile land

by Opportunity International

Rwanda is ‘the land of a thousand hills’.  It is also a fertile land full of opportunities.  Agriculture is the main economic activity in Rwanda, with 70% of the population engaging in the sector.  Tea, coffee, maize, potatoes and cassava are some of its key crops.  Farmers in Rwanda work in cooperatives.  Led and supported by government policy, there are over 2,400 cooperatives nationwide, with roughly 500 to over 2,000 cooperative members. But many cooperative members still use poor and…

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Equipping Young People for the future

by Charles Wabwire (Consortium Lead for our DFID funded Girl's Education Challenge Project)

At the end of September 2018, I attended the Global Youth Economic Opportunity Summit in Washington DC, USA. The summit provides a forum for professionals who prepare young peope to learn, earn and thrive in a changing world of work, to design and develop evidence-based, innovative and scalable youth programmes that enable young people to succeed.   During the summit, we highlighted our work with DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge.  Our project in Uganda works with five partners to educate…

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Giving Opportunity to the next generation

by Opportunity International

The global population is getting younger.  Worldwide there are over 1.2 billion young people aged 15 – 24 years, which accounts for one out of every six people.  But for the majority of these young people there are not enough jobs available to them.      Throughout our programmes we work with a number of partners to provide access to finance, training and support that enable people to thrive.  And this includes young people. Equipping young people with employable skills and business knowledge…

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Opportunity EduFinance Supports Entrepreneurs and Enterprise in Schools

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

The inclusion of business and life-skills training in children’s education is increasingly important, particularly in the developing world, and particularly in Africa.  In 2016 the UN estimated Africa’s population at 1.2 billion (almost 50% under age 18) and calculated an increase to 2.4 billion by 2050[i].  To survive this huge increase in population growth young people need skills to rely on for life.  Whether entrepreneurial at heart, or passing on learnings to their peers and families,…

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