TOP IMAGE: Esmairon © Photos Courtesy of Opportunity International Canada and Boldfish Video Productions inc.
Opportunity International Canada is a not-for-profit organization that empowers families along their journey out of extreme poverty to new lives filled with strength, hope, resilience and the power to achieve their dreams. In conjunction with Opportunity International, we provide microfinance services, including lending, savings, insurance and transformational training to families living in poverty.
Our sustainable, scalable multi-faceted approach to poverty alleviation drives big impact and lasting change by unlocking opportunities including access to financial services, training and mentoring, life-saving healthcare, quality education, and innovative technology.
WHY OPPORTUNITY IS INVESTING IN ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION
As we enter the fall season, there is a familiar scene being played out in communities across Canada. The rush of return to school activities is now behind them, students and teachers have settled into their classrooms and the learnings of the academic year are well underway. However, this is not a typical scene in many countries around the world. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 617 million children worldwide remained either out of school, or in school but not reaching adequate levels of learning. This perpetuates poverty and global inequality generation after generation.
At Opportunity International, we believe a quality education is a fundamental right. Research shows that giving a child access to a good education reduces poverty and inequality, increases life expectancy and gives women and girls more decision-making power. Greater overall levels of education within countries contribute to greater peace, stability and gender equality.
Our objective is clear—More children learning and accessing quality education. To do this, Opportunity International, through its signature program Opportunity EduFinance, partners with financial institutions to mobilize capital to school owners and parents and boost the capacity of school leaders and teachers.
AN OPPORTUNITY EDUFINANCE SUCCESS STORY
After working in another school for several years, Esmairon desired to start a similar school in his home community. Therefore, in 2018 he founded a low-cost private school on the outskirts of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He started his school in a rented facility and obtained a school improvement loan from Cooperativa de Ahorro, Crédito y Servicios Múltiples Aspire, Inc., one of Opportunity International Canada’s Implementing Partners. He used this loan to purchase furniture and equipment for the school and to make renovations at the rented facility.
Esmairon’s school accommodates children between the ages of two and ten and began with an enrolment of 70 children. Through its good reputation and word of mouth, the school now has 215 children in attendance (15 of whom have special needs) and employs several teachers. Esmairon’s long term goal is to eventually purchase his own building that could be renovated to meet the various needs of the children.
Opportunity International Canada empowers families to leave poverty behind for good. We provide financial products, services and training along their paths toward new lives filled with strength, hope, resilience and the power to achieve their dreams.