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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

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. The appeal is set to raise well over £3 million. This incredible total will be matched by the UK Government – making it our most successful appeal to date! Thank you to all those…

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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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Impact Investors face $39bn Opportunity in Education Microfinance

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

Education offers impact investors some of the best opportunities for financial and social returns, with the market for education microloans worth US$39 billion across 33 countries, according to recent analysis by Opportunity International's Education Finance (Opportunity EduFinance).  Building on studies with partner organisations, Opportunity EduFinance worked with a strategy consultant, using desktop research and the latest available data from UNESCO, the Economist, and Mix Market. “Education…

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Sharing big data so others can invest in Education

by Faye Ruck-Nightingale

Millions more children could end up getting an education, when Opportunity International's EduFinance Group shares its experience and data on education microfinance, enabling others to invest in education. With 263 million children out of school, banks and other financial institutions have been reluctant to lend into developing countries’ education because – in their view – of the small margins and high risks. But with backing from philanthropists, donors, and impact investors, Opportunity’s…

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Rwanda: A land of Opportunity

by Opportunity International

Twenty-three years have passed since Rwanda’s genocide in which an estimated 20% of the population were killed. It is a country that has been defined by its horrific history. But, this is changing. Rwanda is now experiencing fast economic growth and many of the people and communities we work with are moving forward with peaceful ambition and determination. Opportunity International has been in Rwanda since 2007, equipping and empowering men and women to create stable and secure livelihoods.…

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G7 Statement: Education needs more resources, microfinance can help

by Opportunity International

Ahead of this week’s G7 summit 2017, which is expected to focus on sustainability and reducing inequality, including on education, Nathan Byrd, Global Head of Opportunity International EduFinance, said: “We welcome the G7’s second pillar: their discussions on economic, environmental and social sustainability, and the reduction of inequalities (G7 Priorities). Complete and equal access to education will be a major contributor to poverty reduction and to socio-economic stability. National governments…

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