Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Opportunity International Network

With Harry Turner, GMO CEO
Opportunity International Network (OIN) is a global Christian micro finance network that comprises more than 50 organizations that are involved in various aspects of micro finance. It serves more than 5,000,000 underprivileged people with the Christian values and mission.

The OIN has 40 some implementing members, including UOB in Rwanda and six supporting members. Supporting members raise funding to support the activities and programs of implementing members. Supporting members are based in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, Canada and Singapore. Implementing members are all over the world with nine members operating in Africa: Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, DR Congo, Mozambique, Malawi and S. Africa. OIN has GMO or Global Microfinance Operations that provides shared services for all implementing members in such areas as IT, Audit, Finance, Risk, H.R. etc.

Dinner with US Ambassador Donald Koran and David Simms
OIN has a global board of which membership consists of chairmen of all supporting members, GMO CEO and some independent directors. OIN's board chairman serves full time while all other board chairmen are volunteers.

David Simms at Ngoma Branch
Ngoma Branch Cake
OIN has a total staff of approximately 13,000 scattered around the world. OIN's unique character is that it focuses on establishing and operating regulated micro finance institutions, wherever and whenever possible. The purpose is to establish the base for collecting deposits from the public so that the institutions may be self-sustainable as far as the funding resources are concerned. For example, UOB is a regulated MFI in Rwanda, the first and largest micro finance bank.

During the week of November 5th, UOB received two of the top executives of OIN. On 5th and 6th, UOB received Harry Turner, OIN GMO's CEO. From 7th, UOB received David Simms, OIN Board Chairman who came as part of OI US Insight Trip team. It was an honor to have them not only come but also share the messages at UOB staff devotions on Monday and Friday, respectively. Moreover, David Simms participated in the Ngoma Branch Grand Open Dedication Service and delivered his remarks. It was a significant week for UOB. They both said that they were encouraged and impressed by the work being done at UOB. Praise the Lord!

It has been my privilege to have been part of Opportunity International in serving the poor. - Jeffrey

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