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© 2018 Opportunity InternationalOpportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692).

News Blog

Farmer feedback on Opportunity’s Agricultural programme

by Opportunity International

Our Agricultural Finance (AgFinance) Programme focuses on facilitating access to finance, training and markets for smallholder farmers.  Since 2009, the programme has reached nearly half a million farmers across seven countries. We want to share with you some direct feedback from our clients. During a three-year DFID funded project in Ghana and Mozambique, we spoke regularly to clients about their family and business.  We conducted surveys and questionnaires throughout the three-years in order…

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The Power of Savings Groups

by Pete Parisetti

Last week I attended the Power of Savings Groups SEEP Conference in Kigali, Rwanda.  There were an impressive 460 participants. A good 80% of them were non-Western, and, of them, at least 50% were women. This triggered the personal reflection of how far the pendulum of local ownership has swung. Perhaps it has always been like that in development, but up to a decade ago in emergency aid proportions were essentially reversed.  It was great to see. Two main themes cut across all the proceedings.…

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A Spirit of Opportunity in the DRC

by Opportunity International

Our 2013 Spirit of Opportunity Christmas appeal raised valuable funds for a four-year project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  The project, in partnership with the UK Government’s Department for International Development, set out to expand our reach to people living in one of the poorest countries in the world.  Only 12% of people own a bank account in the DRC.  It is a fragile country with a delicate political and financial infrastructure.  Despite these challenges the project…

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Empowering Communities

by Cliff Hampton

Empowerment is at the heart of Opportunity International. When a person is empowered a whole community can be lifted out of poverty.  It is a catalyst for change. Our clients are strong, hard-working and determined.  I saw that for myself on a recent trip to Ghana.  Here, I met ambitious women and men who are turning their lives around.  With a loan and training they were given the opportunity to take control and improve their livelihoods.  At an individual and community level they are now thriving…

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A week in the Pearl of Africa

by Hope Carpenter, Opportunity International UK Intern

At the end of March I was fortunate enough to visit Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. After 2 months of remote Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) support, I travelled to oversee the first week of a study assessing the impact of Opportunity International’s (OI) Education Finance Project, supporting 132 schools across the country. I experienced firsthand the challenges facing primary research in hard-to-reach communities. Churchill described the forests of Uganda as “more luxuriant than…

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Creating Roots of Change - Thank You!

by Jenny Dunn

Once again we have been overwhelmed by your generosity to our Roots of Change appeal.  The UK Aid Match Appeal, which ran from December 2017 to February 2018, highlighted the need of many rural farmers to access the finance and support needed in order to grow sustainable livelihoods and provide for their families. With every donation matched by the UK Government, the appeal raised an incredible £7.4 million - our most successful appeal to date! Thank you to all those who gave and supported us. …

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Microfinance and Child Protection can – and do – work together!

by Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan is Opportunity International’s Child Protection expert. She joined Opportunity UK in 2015 after eight years with Save the Children in Laos. Sarah has been advising Opportunity EduFinance on best practice and policy for Child Protection; in particular, our Education Quality field operations teams, the schools they work with, and some of our MFI partners. Sarah shares her recent experience of running Child Protection training in Uganda: “Earlier this year I was excited to be working…

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Ensuring Inclusive and Quality Education for All through sustainable, high-quality private schools

by Allison Kooser

Following the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the debate continues regarding the role of public and private education in the developing world. With unquestioning agreement regarding the importance of education, scholars and practitioners are deliberating the minutiae of how to impact today’s young people – and how to do so cost-effectively, sustainably and well. It’s a debate that can immediately get complicated and lost in the weeds of policy and opinion. Within…

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Opportunity's Education programme creates new jobs too

by Opportunity International

Schools, parents, and children are not the only ones to benefit from Opportunity International’s education microfinance programmes, new research has confirmed. Opportunity EduFinance’s investments into affordable schooling also generate jobs, boost local economies, and slow the exodus of a community’s professionals to big cities somewhere else.  “We have always maintained that investment into education is one of the best routes out of poverty,” said Nathan Byrd, who manages Opportunity’s…

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A bumper harvest

by Opportunity International

Three years ago we launched a Seeds of Opportunity Appeal – highlighting both the huge needs and potential of farmers in Africa.   We were overwhelmed by your generosity.  In just three months, with the UK government’s match funding, we raised £6million! That money has been put to work and is changing lives.  YOUR generosity has provided much needed loans, savings accounts and training to thousands of women and men across Africa.  One of the projects funded by the appeal specifically supported…

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