July 27, 2023
As my flight landed in Managua, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. After 4.5 years as CEO of Opportunity International Canada (OIC), this was my first chance to visit Nicaragua, where we work with ASODENIC.
This year, OIC celebrates our 25th anniversary, and we have worked together with ASODENIC from the beginning to help clients on their journey out of poverty through sustainable livelihoods. After more than four years of virtual meetings, I was delighted to meet the local team and several clients in person finally.
Working together with our Implementing Partner, ASODENIC, is critical to our work in alleviating poverty in Nicaragua. Addressing poverty in a truly transformative and sustainable way means inviting people to participate in the local economy through financial inclusion.
In each of our countries of focus, our Implementing Partners work to bring financial services, training, and support closer to clients who would otherwise be restricted from it.
When I first arrived in Nicaragua, it was an honour to be met at the airport by Diana Montoya, ASODENIC’s Executive Director. She is a respected leader, having risen through the ranks over 20 years, starting as a Loan Officer. She has carefully managed through challenging times, controlling costs, and fully leveraging the loan portfolio to ensure operational sustainability.
It was equally an honour to meet Henoch Aguilar, the Board Chair. Henoch is a founding member of ASODENIC, serving for 28 years, and in rotation, he has served as Chair more than once.
As I met with the rest of the leadership team and the Board of Directors, I was inspired and impressed by their deeply held, long-term commitment to creating financial inclusion and helping clients in Nicaragua leave poverty behind.
One of the highlights of my trip was participating in a training session for potential clients at the Managua head office. It included an engaging presentation with client participation around practical personal financial management and starting a micro-enterprise.
These potential clients were at the early stages of qualifying for their first loan, and it was encouraging to see the commitment to dignity and sustainability from the outset of client engagement.
This simple meeting was the first step in overcoming marginalization by creating financial inclusion. Barriers were being broken as clients were invited to build sustainable livelihoods and the ability to participate in the local economy.
My visit had only begun, and the best part – client visits – was yet to come. I was already inspired and hopeful for the future here in this part of Latin America. I can’t wait to share some client stories throughout my hike.
In support of our work in Nicaragua, helping people along their journey out of poverty, I am hiking the final 700 km of the Pacific Crest Trail along with OIC Board Chair John Mach and OIC supporter Peter Thorpe.
This Walking People out of Poverty hike is also in honour of the 25th Anniversary of OIC. We celebrate the achievements to date while looking to significantly expand our mission impact and help millions on their journey out of poverty, including our essential work in Nicaragua.
ASODENIC is an amazing partner in this transformative, dignified and sustainable pathway out of poverty, and the best is yet to come.
This post is part of a CEO Blog series on Dan’s reflections as he embarks on a 700+ KM hike, Walking People Out of Poverty. Through the hike, he aims to raise support and awareness of our work of poverty alleviation in Nicaragua.
Input your search keywords and press Enter.