Opportunity International Savings and loans (OISL) shares the believe that poverty is a combination of economic, social, political, spiritual, psychological and emotional deficiencies restricting people from experiencing positive growth and abundant life.
This complex set of poverty components can be dismantled through holistic transformational development. That is why we at OISL seek to transform the lives, families and communities of our clients economically, socially and spiritually. We do this through the products and services we provide as well as projects that we pursue.
We believe, the poor- our target clients- do not lack ability but rather opportunities. Our clients have their God-given abilities and capabilities to create wealth and completely change their lives to look great!
Our target clientele-the poor- in the past have suffered
• oppression of all sorts
• insecurity, to mention but a few
We seek to provide equal opportunities to our existing and potential clients
• to access credit
• build their capacity to use credit
• increase their business income and household incomes
• accumulate productive business assets
• increase savings to reduce vulnerability in times of difficulties
• assist them draw business plans to effectively address their future prosperity
• enjoy peace and security in their homes and communities at large
• provide them with livelihood empowerment knowledge and skills
• sensitize them on their rights and obligations in various spheres of their lives
• fulfill their spiritual development needs
In the area of client research, OISL carries out the following assessments; client poverty assessment, impact assessment and client dropout assessment. These assessments provide us with useful information in relation to our targeting, our developmental transformational impact-positive/negative and our progress towards increasing outreach.
This research is to establish baseline data about our clients. The tool for this assessment is under development. As an institution we need to determine whether or not we still are operating in line with our mission or we are drifting. The baseline information thus established will be the benchmark to assess the level of transformation and hence impact of our programs. Some key indicators to be incorporated in the assessment tool includes but not limited to the following;
• per day household income of clients as against national/international benchmarks
• school going aged children of clients in school
• housing facilities of clients
• ownership of house
• ownership of household assets
• ownership of business and business assets
• participation in any informal insurance protection
It is common practice to monitor programs and review results on a continuous basis for the purpose of ensuring that inputs, deliveries, and targeted outputs are as planned. This kind of impact assessment is what will be pursued within OISL to establish whether or not our intended objectives are being achieved or not and why. The evaluation process and procedures will relate to the analysis of our overall socio-economic implications of operational interventions on our clients.
Additionally, we will be able to determine whether or not our outputs are having lasting/sustainable changes in our client’s lives, households and communities. Some key indicators that the research will probe into include the following;
• increase in incomes of clients
• increase in personal savings
• expansion of business
• increase in number of children educated
• reduced vulnerability
• improved shelter
• participation in insurance protection
• creation of employment opportunities for other low income people
• acquisition of productive assets
Client Drop-out Assessment
Increasing outreach and growing portfolio is a major bottom line for OISL. However we cannot over look the fact that we have to deal with a necessary and ever present challenge of client drop-out. In order to address this challenge adequately, we need to carry out a research to establish the reasons why our clients leave us. This will enable us make recommendations for changes within our operations, service delivery etc that accounts for such reactions from our clients. OISL believes it’s a key institutional learning exercise that should be accorded much attention and to which our human and financial resources ought to be committed.
The aim here is to equip our clients with the requisite knowledge and skills to manage their trust bank groups well, their businesses, households and communities. We seek therefore to continually use adult education methodology to provide them with business and financial management training-which is a key component of our client training program. Some clients trained as community leaders serve as mentors in business and character. We expect our Centre Chiefs and leadership to assume similar and even higher responsibilities in the no distant future. It is worth noting that our Loan Officers continue to provide orientation and basic group leadership training.
Business Development Services
Transformation Department/Team facilitates the provision of technical business development assistance to our clients. The department networks with Business Development Service Providers in Ghana so their services are accessed by our clients at little or no cost. This area of intervention enhances our client’s productivity, efficiency, profitability and business expansion. Through this initiative, they have adequate knowledge of investment options and access to larger local, regional and international markets.
Adult Education Programs
The transformation department/unit/team seeks to explore opportunities to enhance the literacy and numeracy skills and abilities of our clients.
The inculcation of Christian values, Christian teachings focused on our client’s spiritual development helps in sustaining peace within groups, within households and within communities that OISL operates. We promote the spirit of togetherness among our clients. Through this aspect of our program, we encourage and support our clients to overcome the sense of hopelessness and helplessness in their lives. Through meetings we strive to strengthen their moral values and spiritual maturity.
OISL will continue to make its products and transformational developmental services available to individuals and groups capable of effecting positive changes to the lives, households and communities of our clients. To this end of transforming our clients, we pledge our commitment and support in diverse ways-technical, financial, emotional and spiritual.