With Mother’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking more about the heroic mothers I met on a recent trip to Ghana and Uganda. They shared with me how they were using loans from Opportunity International to build businesses that provided income to send their children to school, put nutritious food on the table, buy or improve their homes and even put money away for the future. Many of them care for AIDS orphans, employ their neighbors and take on leadership roles in their communities.
I’d like to introduce you to a special woman I met in Ghana. Rose Adjei is 39 and married with two children. She was Opportunity’s first client in her community, forming a Trust Group of 26 other women living in poverty who wanted to start businesses. (Visit http://www.optinnow.org for more information on this lending methodology.) With her first loan of $25 in 1998, Rose started selling groceries on a tabletop. Today, she is the proud owner of a grocery store and a Kente products shop, and employs seven young men to weave the kente cloth. She is repaying her 14th loan from Opportunity, this one for almost $2,000. With proceeds from her business, Rose has been able to send her children to the best schools in her area.
Rose Ajdei, an Opportunity International client, at Rose’s shop in Bonwire Ghana.
I invite you to visit OptINnow to learn more about Opportunity’s women clients, their businesses and their communities. There, you also can check out the heartwarming Global Opportunity Quilt sponsored by the Women’s Opportunity Network. This Mother’s Day, I’m purchasing tribute patches on the virtual quilt to honor special women in my life and to give a hand-up to women who need it the most. I can choose from several beautiful Mother’s Day patches by artist Dawn Feller, and then write a tribute that can be read by everyone visiting the virtual quilt. Each woman I honor receives an email with a link to view the quilt plus a gift card that can be used to help another woman with a life-changing loan at OptINnow. It’s fun to visit the quilt (I must admit…I do it several times daily) to see all the wonderful messages that have been posted.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women in the world who make a difference!
-Ruth-Anne Renaud, Vice President of Women’s Philanthropy, Opportunity International, email@example.com
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