About Opportunity International Canada
Opportunity International Canada designs, delivers, and scales innovative solutions to transform the lives of those living in poverty through sustainable livelihoods and education. Made up of a global network of change-making organizations, they strive towards a world where everyone is afforded equal opportunity to live a life with dignity and purpose. Opportunity International seeks to make an impact that is far-reaching, holistic, and transformative for clients, their families, their communities, and their futures.
Read about the impact access to financial services and financial literacy training has had on the lives of these women:
The power of a small business
Alba is the treasurer of her Trust Group and a well-respected business owner in her community village in Honduras. With her husband, she makes and sells 180 to 216 pairs of shoes per week. Alba’s business began much smaller, but she used each loan strategically to invest in her productivity with new sewing machines and polish. As her income increased, Alba was able to use her returns to invest in her children’s education to ensure that their futures are even brighter.
With her success, Alba is well known in her community and she is never afraid to lend a hand to anyone that needs it. Even her local competitors go to her for business advice. Alba has unleashed the power of an opportunity to make her business more successful and to transform her life for the better.
The power of health
When her husband was injured and unable to work, Bebi had to become the family’s bread winner. She chose to make the best of unfortunate circumstances by working hard and taking advantage of an Opportunity loan. As her income grew, so did her confidence. When her Opportunity Loan Officer invited her to become a health leader, Bebi had the chance to improve the health of her family and community. By manufacturing sanitary napkins, Bebi is allowing many young girls and women to stay in school, including her own daughter.
Not only has Bebi become a community leader and provider, with enough money for food and to send her children to school, she has opened her first savings account. Bebi’s dedication to providing for her family allowed her to unleash opportunities for her community to thrive in a healthier environment.
The power of community
Fed up with winter’s impact on the streets of her community, Beduith rallied her Trust Group to raise $7,200 for the local mayor’s street paving project that would benefit the entire neighbourhood.
Beduith’s story illustrates a consistently recurring reality — as Opportunity clients break free from poverty, they gain so much more than a steady income. Often, they find a hidden inner strength and become emboldened to take on responsibilities that benefit the community around them. With her community, Beduith has unleashed the power of opportunity to break down barriers, making their communities even safer.
The power of aspiring together
Keisi, Dominican Republic
Keisi, a hardworking mother of three, had always been a leader in her community—but for years, she didn’t have sufficient opportunities. She noticed the same for many other mothers in her neighborhood who lacked the confidence and independence to achieve their goals. When she heard about the “Aspirando Juntas” (Aspiring Together) program, she realized it would be perfect for the women in her community. In this program, Keisi learned about financial literacy and how to grow a business. She was able to transform her self-esteem and her reality.
With one opportunity, Keisi was propelled from a life with very little confidence and independence to an empowered woman leading the change for mothers in her community. Now, she is unleashing the power of her potential to live the life of her dreams and to help other women achieve their dreams as well.
The power of a dream
Linda’s bakery is a dream come true. With over 40 employees and plans for expansion in other towns, her business is thriving. She started by selling 40 loaves of bread a day and selling them from a basket on her head. She wanted nothing more than to start her own bakery and with help from Opportunity loans, she was able to make it happen.
Now, her bakery produces 6,600 loaves a day and sells to about a dozen grocery stores. She also has over 100+ women who buy her bread wholesale and then sell it themselves, creating an income for many in her village. Linda also provides housing for ALL her employees. Linda is most excited for her three children, who are now in school and well on their way to being professionals. Linda started with a dream and through the power of opportunity and a loan, she was able to transform her livelihood while passing on more opportunities to her community.
The power of leadership
Nohemy grew up in a poor family, in a community where opportunity was scarce. Despite limitations, she paved her own way by taking odd jobs to make ends meet. But Nohemy continued to strive for a better future and soon found herself earning an accounting degree in university and even working for the government.
Before long, the young woman who started her first business out of necessity at aged eight, was hired as a Loan Officer and later promoted to Branch Manager. Today, over 1,300 families and 18 employees depend on her. Nohemy unleashed the power of opportunity by unlocking her potential to be a leader and encouraging others to strive for their dreams.