Keith Krach Message to Opportunity International’s 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration
Keith Krach: On behalf of the entire Krach family, I want to offer my deepest thanks. Atul, your friendship and partnership in this great cause are a continued source of inspiration for Metta for me and for our five children. And I want to thank all of you for being there at the gala summit. Even though we can’t be there physically, certainly our spirit’s there, you know, as a Midwest boy growing up helping his dad in his small machine shop, I certainly learned what productive work can do for a sense of self-esteem. And our mothers taught us that having a meaningful career is truly about giving it back and paying it forward. And that’s why Metta and I love Opportunity International so much, and we use Opportunity International as an example about the importance of generosity and helping others in need. With our 10 year old twins, you know, we’ve had a chance to see it with our own eyes, the way that OI’s transformational leadership can truly change communities and help families and many of those families living less than a dollar a day. And you do it by spreading kindness, empowerment and hope. You know, when our three oldest children were teenagers, we’d go on journeys and we travel to some of the poorest neighborhoods with Opportunity International to countries like Kenya, Philippines, India, Honduras, Indonesia, Peru, Vietnam, Nicaragua. And through Opportunity International, our three teenagers had a chance to meet so many people and make hundreds of close connections by giving a warm hug and personally handing out numerous $50 loans. They witnessed in person the the impact of what I refer to as the three Big E’s, the power of entrepreneurship, economic empowerment of women and education. And I’ll never forget what my 12 year old son at the time said while we were in the slums of Mumbai after handing a $50 loan to an 18 year old single mother of a crippled child. And this was so that she could purchase a sewing machine instead of some other dreadful alternative. He said, I get it now, dad. Just like it says we’re not giving them fish. We’re teaching them how to fish. And I knew then that by helping our children that way, it would transform their lives forever and understand those that are less fortunate than them. And it actually transformed my life as well. I actually told that story at my Senate confirmation hearing to illustrate the importance of the private sector in running US economic diplomacy. And as a tech entrepreneur, I know when this increasing technological 21st century of ours expanded access to not just to financial but also digital resources is one of the most important things we can do to fight poverty. And that’s why I’m absolutely thrilled the Krach Family Foundation is so proud to sponsor and announce the trusted tech microfinance partnership between Opportunity International and the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue. This is an initiative that’s devoted to closing the digital divide in low income countries through the adoption of trusted technology, and its aim is to transform lives of micro entrepreneurs by empowering them to participate in the digital economy with innovative paths to earn income, gain confidence in trusted technology and improve the quality of life for their families and communities. The Trusted Tech Finance Initiative will give participants access to trusted technology products, online education and training to grow existing businesses and to build new ones. You know, the transformative power of trust is the key theme of our Family’s Foundation’s mission and with Opportunity International as a global leader in microloans through its trust banks and trust groups. And also with the Institute for Tech Diplomacy commitment to advancing freedom through trusted technologies. We are more hopeful than ever that with you, we can bring transformational change to global poverty and create a free and more prosperous world so with that, we love you, Opportunity International, and may God bless you all. Thank you very much.