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Broadened Horizons

A scholarship from the MasterCard Foundation empowers HOPE Congo senior loan officer Olivier Bazounguissa to better equip others.
Olivier Bazounguissa

When Olivier began working with HOPE Congo in August 2010, his only prior experience in microfinance was a six-week internship with a local microfinance institution (MFI) right after he graduated from university. However, he distinguished himself in his work as a loan officer, quickly rising to become senior loan officer. “He has a mature perspective about his work,” says Manny Palis, HOPE Congo’s managing director, “and is diligent about accomplishing more for HOPE Congo.”

In recognition of his excellent work, Olivier was awarded a full scholarship from the MasterCard Foundation to attend a two-week microfinance training course in September at the School of African Microfinance in Kenya. This intensive training covered topics ranging from savings to human resources to reporting to marketing, and with nearly 100 trainees from MFIs across Africa, the course encouraged participants to network and share from their experience. “The training broadens my insight and horizon,” says Olivier. “[The other participants] are all rich in experiences in microfinance, so I learned a lot of best practices that I can share and apply to HOPE Congo.”

Now that he has returned, Olivier plans to share what he learned with his fellow loan officers. He is also eager to begin applying these lessons to his daily responsibilities, which include identifying potential clients, facilitating groups as they select members, and training groups on the policies and procedures of community banking. For example, Olivier plans to work with community bank leaders to build their leadership capacity, engaging them to create a vision for their groups and to continually lead their fellow bank members by example.



As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered economic development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

3 responses to Broadened Horizons

  1. I wondered about this gentleman’s location in the Congo. I’ll be participating in an Engineering Ministries International project in Beni, DRC, in February. Is he located in Beni by any chance? Or, does HOPE have others involved in Beni? If so, perhaps I could have a chance to see their work.


    • Paul,
      Thanks for your comment! We should have specified that Olivier works in the Republic of Congo, not the Democratic Republic of Congo. While we do also work in DRC, we unfortunately don’t have offices in Beni. Sorry for the confusion!

  2. Olivers experience in School of African micro finance is encouraging and his life will not be the same after the training.SAM as known in acronym is one of the best micro finance school that you can attend for micro finance training across Africa and by the time you are out after two weeks, your mind set changes completely for the seek of our communities.Your attitude changed I guess 100% and encourage more and more micro finance practitioners to attend this training.It fits all the categories of micro finance and bank employees, it doesn’t matter whether you are the director or the loans officer. I am one of the beneficiaries and my life changed for the better.Spread the message of School of African Micro finance across Congo

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