Founders Story

toni Antoinette-Temporiti  backfromafrica

Antoinette “Toni” Temporiti was born and raised on The Hill in St. Louis, Mo. In 1975, she joined the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in O’Fallon.

In 2003, Sr. Toni Temporiti took a sabbatical from her congregation and traveled to Africa.

While on this trip, she and her fellow travelers would sit and share stories with the local women, and Sr. Toni realized that the women were concerned with the same problems that affect Americans: where would they get food for their families? Would their children be able to go to school? What if they or their children got sick?

When Sr. Toni returned to St. Louis, she was still affected by her experiences in Africa, but continued with her daily activities. She felt the need to do something, and so she did some research on the Internet and came across information about microfinancing. One afternoon, while eating at a restaurant in Clayton, Sr. Toni realized that for the cost of her lunch, a woman in Africa could get a loan to help her business.

In November 2006, Sr. Toni got the impetus to start MicroFinancing Partners in Africa through a conference she attended in Nova Scotia. While there, she met Ingrid Munro, founder of Jamii Bora Trust, and Mohammed Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank. Sr. Toni returned from the conference excited about the possibilities, and with the help of friends and colleagues, MicroFinancing Partners in Africa was founded.

October 26, 2007, Toni received the Michael J. Garanzini Service Award through The Center for Counseling and Family Therapy Advisory Board.

In Spring 2011 Sister Antoinette Temporiti, CPPS, MSW, PhD was honored with the SLU Alumni Merit Award. April 5, 2011, Toni received Washington University’s Brown School’s Distinguished Alumna Award. She has served on the board of the Family Development Center at Saint Louis University, the Recreational Council for Persons with Disabilities, the Development Board for the Interfaith Committee on Latin America, as well as Partnerships for Global Justice. In addition to her MSW, she holds a master’s in theology and a doctorate in marriage and family therapy. In November 2015, Toni was recognized by The Purpose Prize of Encore.Org as an Encore Fellow, someone whose career transition after age 60 is an inspiration to others.