Young Ambassadors for Opportunity is a dynamic group of young leaders who support Opportunity International’s mission to end global poverty for good. We inspire, educate and involve the next generation in the power of microfinance and the mission of Opportunity, an international development organization that provides over four million clients with microfinance services throughout the developing world.
In 2008, a handful of young philanthropists discovered the work of Opportunity International and were so excited by its sustainable and innovative approach, and impressed by its commitment to transformation, that they decided to create a way for their peers to get involved. They learned and educated their friends about the growing, ever-evolving microfinance industry and pledged to be a meaningful part of the movement by investing their time and talent in Opportunity’s work. Thus Young Ambassadors for Opportunity–YAO–was born.
Young Ambassadors champion the work of Opportunity International because it provides a sustainable solution to the global problem of microfinance. Opportunity clients around the world can grow businesses through loans, access savings for a rainy day, provide their families a safety net through insurance, and receive business and life skills training to create a better future for themselves and their communities. It’s a solution to poverty from the ground up that champions entrepreneurship and enables clients to transform their own lives.
What We Do
From YAO’s annual Insight Trips, to skydiving fundraisers, to educational and social chapter events in 10 cities across the country, Young Ambassadors are active members of an inspiring community. YAO members form close relationships with each other and global Opportunity staff. By supporting Opportunity with at least $12/month–in a year, that’s the amount of a first-time Trust Group loan–Young Ambassadors know they’re investing in a sustainable model that leverages and recycles their donated funds over and over, helping more people get out of poverty for good.
Who We Are
YAO members are innovative and energetic entrepreneurs and young professionals, typically in their 20′s and 30′s, who are not willing to wait ’til later in life to make a big difference in the world–they join YAO to take action NOW to solve the problem of global poverty. Chapters are run by energetic volunteer leaders in cooperation with the elected YAO National Board. The National Board members use their professional experience, network and resources to further the YAO mission nationwide and infuse the perspective, needs and ethos of our generation into the strategy of Opportunity International.
Because 2008 was the first year both for YAO and for Opportunity’s operations in Tanzania, YAO has chosen to focus its support on the growing microfinance work in this impoverished African country. As YAO members, we’re enthusiastic about growing alongside Opportunity clients and staff in Tanzania!
“Visiting with Opportunity loan officers and clients in Cartagena and Barranquilla was a soul-enriching experience. The incredibly unequal distribution of global wealth often perplexes and distresses me. However, Opportunity’s work to foster entrepreneurship and break the cycle of poverty is inspiring. In particular, when I heard the first-person accounts of the transformative power of well-administered microfinance, it convinced me that supporting Opportunity’s work is a valuable use of my time, money and energy.”
– YAO – Boston Member and Donor, Gloria Satguam