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NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo Joins Opportunity International Board of Advisors; Opens Doors in Democratic Republic of Congo
Date:12/18/2007

Visits clients in Mozambique marketplace like one where he worked as a

child

OAK BROOK, Ill., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo, who is known as much for his philanthropy as his storied NBA career, has joined the Opportunity International Board of Advisors. He is helping the organization prepare its entry into his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he has just opened a world-class hospital and healthcare facility.

"The only way we are going to eradicate poverty," said Mutombo, "is for each one of us to do his part. Opportunity International and its people working in Africa are a solution to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing financial services to the poorest of the working poor. I am excited for them to build a bank near my hospital in Kinshasa."

This past July, Mutombo invited Opportunity International executives to the dedication of the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, named for his mother, which opened this past week. It is the first major healthcare facility dedicated to providing the finest medical services to the poor in the DRC.

While there, Mutombo introduced Opportunity International to key government ministers to discuss the organization's plans to provide microfinance services including loans, savings and insurance for the poor. He also met with DRC President Joseph Kabila to further accelerate the organization's timetable for entering the country, now planned for late 2008.

"What you quickly learn about Dikembe Mutombo," said Christopher A. Crane, president and CEO of Opportunity International, "is that he is not a sports celebrity doing a little charity work. This is a man of deep commitment to the poor who puts his own time, energy and significant amounts of money into projects like his hospital. He influences others in a position to make a difference, whether they are NBA players donating time an
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SOURCE Opportunity International
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