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© 2019 Opportunity InternationalOpportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692).

News Blog

Refugees Lives: New Beginnings, New Opportunities

by Kelly Jennings-Robinson

Senga and Niragine are farmers in Nakivale in Uganda. They also happen to be refugees who are building a new life for their family. They have faced many challenges, but they are strong, resilient. Senga and Niragine are just starting out on their journey with Opportunity International through our new project.  Here is the beginning of their story, but it is certainly not the end.    We came to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. We have four children aged 2, 4, 6, and 8 years.…

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Building a Future with Refugees in Uganda

by Kelly Jennings-Robinson

June is World Refugee Awareness Month and June 20th is World Refugee Day. It is a time to honour and reflect on the strength, courage and resilience of the millions of people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and have had to rebuild their lives from scratch.   Since July 2016, the Ugandan refugee crisis has reached unprecedented levels. Uganda is currently Africa’s largest hosting state, and the world’s third largest, with over 1.4 million refugees across 30 settlements. New…

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Celebrating Dorthea, our Youth Apprentice

by Kelly Jennings-Robinson

Dorthea is like any other Ghanaian teenager, keen to make her way in the world and build a secure life, but she has faced many challenges. Her father died when she was young and mother had to leave the family to find work. Dorthea and her three siblings went to live with their grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Her family was very poor and struggled to make ends meet. She often thought about her future and dreamed of being able to get a job to help her impoverished family. Through Opportunity…

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Giving the Next Generation an Opportunity

by Kelly Jennings-Robinson

We want to introduce you to an exceptional client. Meet Azura Fuseina. She is a 40-year old rice processer from Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana. She has worked with Opportunity International since 2017. Through the support of a women’s business group and bank loans, Azura has grown her small business. This opportunity has made all the difference. She is earning enough money to support her family. She is more independent. She is providing her five children with an education­ – something…

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Unlocking Potential: A Message from our Board Chair

by Cliff Hampton

I have had the privilege to meet a number of the clients we serve, most recently on a trip to Uganda earlier this year. As always I was struck by their work-ethic, ambition and resourcefulness. It is the same drive and determination I saw in those I worked with in the City of London.Yet our clients have faced the barriers of extreme poverty, living in tough environments with few resources and support to help them thrive.  Through the provision of loans, savings, training and support we are enabling…

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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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