On a road in Nagpur, India, Madhuri walks her children to school. They are dressed in freshly pressed school uniforms, their large backpacks engulfing their tiny frames. Ria (4) and Yesh (5) are two of the only children in the area able to attend a community school. But Madhuri has always wanted her children to receive a quality education, and Opportunity’s school fee loans have made this possible.
Madhuri and her husband Ajay are determined that their children get to choose the lives they want to live – unlike themselves. Both parents work very long hours – Madhuri in her sewing business and Ajay seven days a week in a factory, as well as working as a night watchman after hours.
But the family still struggled to afford regular meals and the rent on their tiny basement home. They squirrelled away every spare rupee, hoping to save enough to pay for the tuition and uniform costs that every school—public, community or private—requires. The large sums due at the beginning of each school year used to fill them with dread.
But news of the Opportunity school fee loan brought hope. Madhuri and Ajay excitedly applied and were approved. The loan immediately made school fees manageable, with only small instalments due each week instead of a lump sum at the start of the year.
Madhuri and Ajay make it a priority to meet their loan repayments every week – they plan to take out another school fee loan next year, and one after that. Ria and Yesh love learning the alphabet in their kindergarten. Yesh loves playing cricket and dreams of becoming a policeman when he grows up. Madhuri used to worry about how they would afford to pay for him to stay in school long enough to achieve his dream. She doesn’t worry about that any longer.
Opportunity International US implements the Education program in 25 countries and along with Opportunity International Australia, is part of the broader Opportunity International Network.
Opportunity International Australia provides funding to support the Education program in five countries in Asia.