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Opportunity In Action - India Insight Trip

By Andrea Sinclair

Note: Andrea Sinclair gave her first gift to Opportunity International in 2011. Presently, she is generously committed to supporting our work in Bihar, India. Andrea has just returned from her first Insight Trip, to India, with Opportunity. She wrote a beautiful letter about her experiences during this trip.

I have just returned from a 16-day trip with Opportunity International to see first-hand what this organization is doing to help empower women in remote villages in India. It was a truly memorable experience with a wonderful group of people.

Everything was extremely well organized, thanks to Doris Olafsen, who represented Opportunity International Canada on the trip. She worked tirelessly and was up at odd hours to ensure that everything went smoothly and that we were well looked after.

On the days when we visited the villages, we were picked up and driven several hours through the country side to the site. The women would be waiting for us, sitting in their colourful "Sunday best" on a blanket in the middle of the village. I was struck by how happily and proudly they - one by one - submitted their weekly loan payments in cash. At the same time, another local village woman, specially trained by an Opportunity International affiliate, Healing Fields, delivered a weekly health/sanitation message to them. Afterwards, we were invited to visit the village and see how they lived. It was so impactful, seeing India in a way few tourists ever get to experience.

I was so impressed to see Opportunity International in action. Participating in the program has so obviously changed their lives in so many ways. It's exciting to see how the initiatives are locally run (as opposed to having outside influences imposed), as well as being sustainable and so transforming to the whole village. 

I strongly recommend that you consider supporting this wonderful charity, and if you get a chance to go on a donor trip, you will never forget the impact of seeing how empowering the micro-lending model can be. 

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