Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL) in conjunction with its non-profit arm, Opportunity International Development Foundation (OIDF) organised a Book Fair for Private Schools last Friday, 27th February, 2009 on the premises of African Advance College in Ashaiman. The Book Fair was organized courtesy of Opportunity International’s partnership with Books for Africa, a US-based non profit organisation which donated more than 30,000 books to Opportunity International for distribution to its private school clients serving low-income communities to encourage a culture of reading.
Opportunity International organized this Book Fair to create a medium through which private schools serving less-privilege communities would acquire a variety of books to stock up their libraries so that pupils would have unlimited access to reading books. The Fair started at 11 am with a brief introduction by Mrs Judith Damoah, the Branch Relationship Manager for Individual Loans (OISL) and Mrs. Esther Ofori, the President of Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS). Other members present at the fair were Mr. Matthew Brown (COO, OIDF), Nana Bamfo (Business Manager, OIDF), Harry Tetteh (ICT Officer, OIDF), Joseph Okyere (Supervisor, OISL), Maame Pobee (Loan Officer, OISL), Patrick Kohn-Arthur (Loan Officer, OISL), Derrick Ababio (Intern) and several members of the Ashaiman Chapter of GNAPS.
In all there were representatives from over 80 private schools from Accra, Pokuase and Ashaiman at the fair. Each representative went round to pick a minimum of 50 books ranging from maths, literature, general reading, history, sciences and religious studies books.
The Fair ended at about 1pm with a vote of thanks by Mrs. Esther Ofori. She expressed her gratitude to Opportunity International for being a caring bank. She stressed that not only does it provide financial support in terms of loans to schools but in addition went an extra mile to make sure that the loans are used judiciously. She also promised that the schools would put the books to good use.
Together, OISL and OIDF work to transform lives and develop communities through microfinance. As part of the many initiatives to help alleviate poverty, OISL and OIDF seek to promote and enhance quality private education in less-privileged communities in Ghana. They work closely with private school proprietors to increase their skills and capacities as business owners and educators to help them gain greater access to credit and other financial services. With greater access to credit, school proprietors are able to improve their infrastructure and facilities thus promoting a better learning environment for their students.