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Annual Report 2016 - Opportunity International Canada
Category: Microcredit | By Steve, 3-Jul-2017 | Viewed 1508  Comments 0 | Source Dale Patterson

Each year our partners at Opportunity International - Canada provide a report of their year's work and hi lights. Here are the introductory remarks of Dale Patterson President & CEO:

Dear Friends:

It is a pleasure once again to address you and share with you the progress and
opportunities you have made possible over the last year.

Because of your partnership and generosity, women like Amparo Gonzalez in Nicaragua
(pictured bottom right) have been able to create bright futures for their families. With
support from Opportunity, Amparo grew a small, struggling clothing stall into a thriving
business that gave her the resources to send her kids to school. After years of hard
work, all three of her children are now pursuing university educations, studying systems
engineering, information technology, and medicine. They have careers and opportunities
ahead of them that were unimaginable for Amparo. 
Amparo Gonzalez in Nicaragua

When I consider Amparo's story, I am struck most by her words: "Opportunity feels like a
family." And indeed it does, for both our partners in the field, and all of us here in Canada. 
This year, our Opportunity family experienced a number of changes that we believe will
prepare us for ongoing success and impact moving forward. We adjusted our fiscal year
(previously July 1 to June 30) to a more conventional calendar year. This switch will allow
us to be in line with our global partners and better synchronize our planning schedules.
In August, we hosted the First Annual OIC Latin America Implementing Partners Strategic
Development conference in Nicaragua. This conference brought together leaders from
each of Opportunity Canada's five Latin American partners to discuss their business
development plans, and reflect and strategize around their priority projects. 

We continued our investment in Education Finance, making it possible for more children
to access high-quality education around the world. As part of this initiative, we introduced
the pilot of the "Least of These" (LOT) Program, which provides resources for schools
to embrace children with developmental challenges in the Dominican Republic. We
extend our heartfelt gratitude to Janelle Lassonde for her leadership of the Opportunity
International Global Education Finance Task Force. We also thank Stephen and Paul
Verhoeff for their extensive commitment and creative contribution to the LOT Project.
As well, we extend our thanks to Canadian donors like Mark and Lynn DuMerton who
have enabled Opportunity Canada to strengthen communities in Bihar, India. Their
contributions fund a project that provides small business loans, health education and
improved access to clean water and sanitation. 

Closer to home, our Opportunity Canada family welcomed Stan Pauls from Manitoba
and Lise Struthers from Ontario to our Board of Directors, as well as Ed Temple and
Alison Chapman to our professional staff. I extend my heartfelt thanks to all of our
committed staff members, as well as their spouses, and to our entire Board, under the
leadership of our Chair, Bob Lawless, for their leadership, service and insight as we work
together to serve our clients in the developing world. I also want to thank our departing
Board members, Laura Hughes, Erika Coetzer and Graham Dare, for their service and
commitment to Opportunity International Canada.

In my travels, I am often asked the question, "Is Opportunity in the business of ministry
or in the business of microfinance?" and I am pleased to say, "Opportunity is in the
business of ministry to those living in poverty, using microfinance as its vehicle." It's
transformational, and we see that in not only the lives of the clients we serve, but also
the lives of the Canadians who so generously provide the resources. 

On behalf of our clients, thank you for joining us on this journey.

In His service together,
Dale Patterson
President/CEO, Opportunity International Canada

See Full Annual Report:

OIC Snap shot of the year in review
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