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Multi-Dimensional Impact: Innovative Tools That Empower

By Diane Ferguson

Every person deserves access to clean water and good health. Opportunity International seeks more than growth in number of families reached with financial services. Our deep desire is to equip our clients to achieve holistic transformation. To achieve multi-dimensional impact, we form strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations. A sample of partnerships in India includes:

Opportunity and Habitat for Humanity partner to deliver home improvement loans that help families replace damaged roofs, install clean water pumps or improve kitchen or bathrooms.

Opportunity India partners with Healing Fields Foundation to provide health awareness education and information about where to seek free or affordable health care in their communities. Opportunity India has trained a group of 1,203 Community Health Facilitators who provided health and financial advice to more than 126,000 families and conducted more than 350,000 awareness sessions toward our goal to impact millions of families.

Saleha, Opportunity Health Care Facilitator

Facilitators, like Saleha pictured above, advocate for marginalized women. The health faciliators educate women about personal health and hygeine, distribute female sanitary supplies and identify women who need loans to expand their businesses. They provide a unique channel to empower women in India.

Opportunity helps communities install water supply systems including pumps and pipes and community toilets. We installed 7,132 water supply systems and 10,130 toilets in 2013. The need for CLEAN water and sanittation systems in India cannot be ignored. Opportunity is piloting a project with Tata Projects Limited to establish a water filtration plant to provide clean drinking water to 1,000 families daily. Expected to be operational during the first half of 2014, the plant will filter 1,000 liters of water each hour. Once successful, the pilot will scale to more communities.

India enjoys about 300 days of sunshine each year. This makes solar power an efficient and viable source of energy. Opportunity partnered with solar equipment vendors to provide 639 loans for solar energy in 2013, bringing light to children who can study while also increasing business opportunities for mothers who can earn income by renting out solar electricity.

Opportunity India collaborates with Akhand Jyoti Eye Charitable Hospital to bring affordable or free eye care through health facilitators. During weekly Trust Group meetings, Opportunity India institutions like Growing Opportunity Finance provide enhanced training on important issues through strategic partners. For example, SNEHA provides awareness on suicide prevention, International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care covers domestic violence and Silver Star Papers teaches entrepreneurs to preserve the environment through recycling.

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