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© 2024 Opportunity InternationalOpportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692).

The life changing gift of an Opportunity

By Jenny Dunn, Head of Marketing and Communications

Malawi is often referred to as the warm heart of Africa and I can see why – the warmth, friendliness and welcome of its people overflows.  I had the privilege of visiting in May this year and was amazed by the generosity of our clients, who opened their homes and businesses as they spent precious time sharing their stories with me. 

Mary is one of the clients I met.  She was fun, energetic and delighted to show us around her home, her farm and her business. 

Mary and her Bike

Mary is remarkable.  A mother of four, she farms, runs a small bakery business and looks after her household.  Earlier this year her crops were completely washed away by Cyclone Freddy, one of the strongest storms recorded in the southern hemisphere.  Yet, thanks to support from Opportunity International, she was able to continue feeding her family regular meals, keep her children in school and rebuild. This is because Opportunity International’s training, mentorship support and provision of access to financial tools meant she had secure savings to fall back on, and an alternative income source to keep providing for her family.      

Mary showed me the bike she bought with her savings, making it far quicker for her to take her products to market and attend her mentoring and training meetings.  She also showed me the bags of fertiliser she has already bought for the next round of planting in the hope that she can grow a stronger and bumper crop next year.

“To be better prepared for future cyclones, I have started to invest in agricultural inputs in advance, so that I can plant my crops earlier. That way they may withstand the effects of the floods better. Opportunity International advised me to diversify so I am also planning to intercrop, to hedge against risks.”

Mary’s story illustrates the core of Opportunity International’s work.  Together with local partners, expertise and inputs we are providing her with the financial training, agricultural training, local support and financial services she needs to build a business that enables her to provide for her family.  All Mary needed was an Opportunity to build a secure livelihood, and thanks to supporters like you, she got it!

If you can, please consider giving to our Christmas appeal so we can give that life changing opportunity to more people like Mary.  If you give before 10th February it will be matched, doubling your impact. 

 With Mary's Mentor group




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