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Two Organizations Offer a World of Hope

Author: LHAWorld Inc.

Date Posted: February 10th, 2011

February is the month to take a break from our hectic schedules and celebrate LOVE. February 14th brings Valentine’s Day which means, among other things, hearts, flowers and chocolates aplenty… and who doesn’t enjoy a good Valentine’s Day card? These are all terrific ways to celebrate.

But what is the real meaning of ‘Love’? We looked it up on Wikipedia and found the following: “Love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection… the basis for all being.”

It is in this spirit that we’d like to focus today’s SPECIAL ISSUE on two organizations that work to bring hope, respect and compassion to our world in different ways. It is our small way of showing that through marketing we can help make a difference.

Opportunity International
A Working Solution to Global Poverty.
www.opportunity.org

Opportunity International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the vision of a world in which <em>all</em> people have the opportunity to provide for their families and build a fulfilling life. Their mission is to empower people to work their way out of poverty, transforming their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.

Opportunity International does just that bu providing small business loans, savings, insurance and training to more than two million people in the developing world who are working their way out of poverty. Clients in over 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. The impact of what they do can be seen through the stories of those that they’ve helped along the way.

Mediatrice Mukeshimuremyi’s Story: Opportunity Rwanda Helps Local Woman Find Success and Give Back to Her Community

Mediatrice Mukeshimuremyi is a mother of two young daughters as well as a farmer. She grows coffee, beans, sweet potatoes, corn and cassava. Before joining Opportunity Rwanda she could only produce enough food for her family.

Then Mediatrice found Opportunity Rwanda. She received training and her first loan of $40 which she used to start a business selling bananas in the market. Soon after she began selling juice, which increased her profit to $14 a week. Mediatrice is currently expanding her juice and vegetable stand to carry cooking oil and other household necessities. She invested the profit to buy two goats, a pig that will be producing eight piglets by the end of this year, and five chickens that lay enough eggs to feed her children. Today, Mediatrice is respected in her community as a business woman and employer. She has made significant contributions toward community development and is able to employ people from her village in planting and harvest seasons. Mediatrice hopes one day to purchase a sewing machine to make school uniforms for the young children in her area.

Augusto Natsave’s Story: Opportunity Mozambique Helps with a Father’s Dream

When Augusto Natsave first came up with the idea of running a local basic goods store, he did not know how to get things off the ground. That all changed when he was introduced to Opportunity Mozambique and received his first loan of $50 to begin a business.

Opportunity trained Augusto and placed him in a Trust Group that was already well established. Though he started with just a stall of goods, his venture took off and today has developed into a full-fledged distribution business. He now buys whole sacks of basic goods in bulk and sells them to smaller vendors at fair prices. In addition, he has now opened additional market stalls which he rents at lower rates to unemployed neighbors. He says this is his way of giving back to his community. Augusto is excited to be able to support his own family in a way he feels good about and create employment for others in his community.

Asah Awudu’s Story: Opportunity Ghana Helps Overcome Challenges

Asah Awudu is fifty-two years old, married and has three children. Prior to joining Opportunity, Asah struggled to provide food for her family and often had to sell household goods in order to provide medical care for her family when they were sick. Asah had been selling maize for six years, yet she found it difficult to earn a profit as she could only buy small quantities on credit. She used to feel helpless and inadequate as a mother as she “had hands, but couldn’t use them properly,” and often worked for food as compensation.

Then Asah heard about the Opportunity Ghana Trust Group program through friends. With the training and support of Opportunity International she was able to grow her business and start making a profit. Asah can now buy up to 30 bags of maize, which she can sell and store for the lean season when maize is difficult to grow. Today her income has increased and she now earns enough money to provide for her family with some left over to add to her savings account. Asah is confident about her future; she feels that, with the support of Opportunity and her Trust Group, there are no challenges that she cannot face.

These are just a few of the many stories that show the impact Opportunity International makes in the lives of people around the globe. For more information about Opportunity International and how you can help make a difference, please visit www.opportunity.org.

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Zonta International
Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide.
www.zonta.org

Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. The organization’s 31,000 members belong to more than 1,200 Zonta clubs in 65 countries, volunteering their time, talents and financial support to local and international service and educational programs benefiting women and girls around the world.

Through the Zonta International Foundation, Zonta International helps women and girls overcome gender barriers to educational and professional advancement; provides opportunities for women to earn higher wages and achieve economic independence; ensures that women and children have access to quality, affordable health care; and strives to end violence against women.

Zonta is actively working to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and gender-based violence in Rwanda; promote safe cities for women in Guatemala and El Salvador; work towards the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in Liberia; end burns violence against women in Cambodia, Nepal and Uganda; and promote security and empowerment for women and their families during the recovery and rebuilding response in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

In addition, the organization supports women’s educational and professional advancement through a number of programs, including the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, named in honor of the legendary aviatrix and Zonta Club member, the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship and the Young Women in Public Affairs Award. Thanks to the financial support Zonta provides, women in the United States and in countries around the globe have the opportunity to pursue studies and careers they have until now only dreamed of.

These are just a few of the many examples of Zonta International’s efforts to improve the lives of women around the globe. For more information about Zonta’s programs and membership opportunities, please visit www.zonta.org.

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