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PO Box A524
Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2020 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

News & Stories Blog

World news on the fight to alleviate poverty – follow innovations in microfinance, technology and community development that are changing lives in developing countries.

Turning tempeh into opportunity

by Opportunity International Australia

Asria started her own business making and selling tempeh. The income helps her pay for her children's school fees. © Sarah Gray The importance of education can be seen through Asria's story. Each day Asria rises in the early hours of the morning to prepare tempeh. She boils, peels and dries soybeans before mixing them with yeast. It’s a valuable skill she learnt from her older sister.  Before Asria started her tempeh business, she worked in the paddy fields as a rice grinder – tough, physical…

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Why are you so passionate about Opportunity?

by Opportunity International Australia

2020 has been a tumultuous year. While the entire world has been touched by COVID-19, those living in poverty have been disproportionately affected and will need significant time and help to recover. We asked our Board why they’re so passionate about Opportunity and why Opportunity is well placed to help so many come through the COVID-19 pandemic.   “I believe in the power of helping women to help themselves.” - Susan Overall  Q: Why are you so passionate about Opportunity?  Joanna White: I’ve…

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Closing the gender gap

by Opportunity International Australia

Women earn less, own less and learn less than men. For women living in poverty, their ability to save and borrow is further limited. So how can microfinance help close the gender gap and improve lives?    Who are the unbanked? According to the World Bank, a person is financially included if they have “access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs, transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance.” Globally, about 1.7 billion people remain unbanked…

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Heni grows a better life

by Opportunity International Australia

Heni (middle) with her husband and son Yardi at their community garden. © Sarah Gray Each day Heni carefully tends to her garden where she grows an assortment of fruits, vegetables and her son’s favourite, dragon fruit. It’s a job that she takes great pride in.   \"We take care of the plants… we plant the onions and wait for them to grow, and we water them. That is what we do every day,” Heni said.  For many families living on Rote Island, Indonesia, farming and fishing are their main…

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For the love of entrepreneurs

by Veronika Peters

Allan and Tessa English have been Opportunity supporters for 20 years. Allan is the founder of SilverChef*, a company that provides hospitality equipment finance. Opportunity’s Veronika Peters talked with Allan about the state of the world, his journey as an entrepreneur and his passion to empower other entrepreneurs. Veronika Peters: How has isolation changed your day-to-day life?  ALLAN ENGLISH: My diary has shifted from a lot of ‘doing’ to ‘being.’ I am enjoying the change of pace…

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Everything you need to know about period poverty

by Opportunity International Australia

Health leader Poonam gives a talk about menstrual hygiene to a group of women in a village in Bihar, India. © Matthew Smeal More than 800 million people menstruate daily. It’s a normal and healthy part of life for most women and girls.  But for a woman living in poverty, her period can be a source of stress and shame. In addition to meeting her family’s daily needs—food, water, shelter and education—she must find a way to access enough pads or tampons each month. Period poverty comes in…

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Meet Mark Daniels

by Opportunity International Australia

Mark Daniels, Opportunity International Australia's Asia Programs Director.  After years of working as an accountant, Mark Daniels was in search of something different. So he did what many young Australians do: backpacked around Asia. It was there that Mark first learnt about microenterprise development—helping small business owners who lack access to mainstream financial services—and realised he could use his skills to help others.   Today, Mark Daniels, Opportunity International Australia’s…

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Life in lockdown

by Opportunity International Australia

Above: A girl is taught how to wash her hands by a Community Health Leader, Uttar Pradesh, India. © Matthew Smeal The COVID-19 lockdown for 1.3 billion people in India posed a very different situation than lockdown in Australia. Jessica Carter, Opportunity International Australia’s Asia Health Program Director—based in Hyderabad, India—explains. “What I noticed first was the sound,” Jessica Carter said. “India is famous for its cacophony of noises—truck horns, the cries of door-to-door…

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Better education for better health

by Taylor Deacon-King

Ksussew, Hansraj and Kavita in the doorway of their home in Rajasthan, India. Their mother Santosh took out a small loan to grow their family business, increasing their income so that they could afford to go to school. © Kim Landy Education increases a child’s access to opportunities throughout life. We at Opportunity see how education provides children with literacy and numeracy skills, skills that minimise a child’s vulnerability to poverty by offering them a pathway towards higher paying,…

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Bridging India's healthcare gap

by Opportunity International Australia

Above: Usha Devi – a Basic Care Provider (BCP) trained with the assistance of Opportunity International Australia. © Matthew Smeal Training women to work as Basic Care Providers in rural villages in India’s north, is bridging a massive gap between people living in poverty and the health care they desperately need.  A wheat thresher makes a unique sound. A whirring, whistling of the spinning cylinder mixed with the chugging of an old engine and a flapping flimsy belt that connects the two.…

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