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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

When Comfort and Priscilla met Jeremy Vine...

by Opportunity International

Did you hear us on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show yesterday? Nathan Byrd, our Head of Education Finance, and two of our school proprietors’ from Ghana, Comfort and Priscilla Appiah, spoke with Jeremy about the transformative work of our education programme.  They discussed how our financial products are improving access to, and quality of, education for many communities living in poverty.  Comfort shared her inspiring story – how she has grown her school from three students to over 800 thanks…

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From Seeds to Success

by Opportunity International

More than 70% of people in Africa live in rural areas and rely on the land to provide for their family. The challenge for many is not just to provide a daily meal for their family but to take it a step further and move from subsistence to commercial farming. Our Seeds of Opportunity Appeal sought to highlight this need and raise money to do something about it. By enabling farmers to run more efficient farms and produce a variety of crops, they can then start to sell commercially and begin planning…

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Education is a Priority

by Helen Plummer

The walls of Martha’s small, cramped living room are covered with graduation photos. Martha, a 57-year-old widow who lives in Bukesa, a poor suburb of Uganda’s capital Kampala, has put eight children through school. She’s also possibly one of Opportunity’s longest serving clients. Through the open door we can hear the combined noise of some 600 chickens in a pen – one of Martha’s two businesses. The second, a small tailoring outfit, is located just along the track outside. For 20 years,…

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Giving Girls the Opportunity to Flourish

by Opportunity International

Opportunity International is running a DFID funded Girls Education Challenge (GEC) project in Uganda partnering with Opportunity Bank Uganda and local youth empowerment NGO – Private Education Development Network (PEDN).  We are working with 250 schools, over 12,000 girls and over 3000 families by providing: A mixture of loans - to improve school environment and infrastructure; Financial education and life skills training – to set girls up for a better future;   Loans for parents - to pay their…

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Adapting through the Years

by Opportunity International

Lydia Baffour Awuah has Opportunity International running through her veins. Like most of our clients, income from her mother’s small trading business in Ghana enabled Lydia to go to school and university. In 2000 Lydia started working for Opportunity Ghana as a Loan Officer. Over the years she has worked in various roles and, on completing a Masters in International Development at the University of Bath, she is now based in our UK Office as a Senior Programme Manager. She regularly returns to…

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Meet Nkunku Aby - the Spirit of Opportunity

by Edward Fox

Nkunku Aby lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world.  A country where only 3% people own a bank account. Three years ago, Nkunku lost everything.  She returned to her small tailoring shop in Kinshasa, the capital city, to find it empty with her business partner gone.  Thankfully Opportunity International was there to offer Nkunku the support, start-up capital and training she needed to rebuild her business.  Her first loan helped her rent new premises…

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What We're Reading: Learning Unleashed in the Economist

by Opportunity International

This August, The Economist included an article celebrating the power of private education in the developing world. It’s a topic that we know well at Opportunity International – and our shared belief that private schools can be major change agents has motivated us to invest in private schools throughout Africa. We believe that accessible, high-quality schools can make all the difference for students trapped in generational poverty.  And so when The Economist references “the fastest-growing…

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Re-imagining the Scholarship

by Nathan Byrd

This summer, 83 students in Rwanda have received multi-year scholarships from Opportunity International as part of an exploratory pilot programme aimed at re-imagining the modern scholarship. Scholarships in the developing world have traditionally been seen as an all-or-nothing game.  A student is either in extreme poverty who needs everything handed to them, or they are not.  But our world does not exist in absolutes.  Now is the time to recognize this and adapt to individual needs. There are…

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Breaking the ‘cycle’ of poverty

by Opportunity International

Once again Opportunity International supporters donned their lycra to cycle the rigorous Trois Etapes – a 3 day team cycling race in the French Pyrenees in aid of hard working entrepreneurs living in poverty.  Two Opportunity International teams took part in the event which involved some of the toughest climbs of the Tour de France.  In total each team member climbed over 8,500 vertical metres over the three days. An amazing £1 million was raised!  An incredible amount, which will help thousands…

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Your support is having a life-changing impact!

by Edward Fox

Two years ago many of you supported our 2012 Christmas appeal, which has made a huge difference to communities living in poverty.  The appeal was match funded by the UK government.  As a result all donations were doubled, meaning that many of you helped us raise a staggering total of £4 million! This enabled us to set ambitious targets for a two year expansion project across Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda. I want to share with you what has been achieved across Africa and how lives…

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