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Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2021 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.

Marmalade for Microfinance

by Opportunity International Australia

From small jars of preserves, big change can occur. Chief Philanthropy Officer, Veronika Peters, sat down with Kristy Munro to talk parenting, philanthropy, and how to balance both.  Over the years I have discussed philanthropy with people from all different backgrounds and each story inspires me in my own journey. As a parent I am intrigued on the role philanthropy plays as a value and virtue that is passed on from one generation to the next. How do busy families committed to a lot of different…

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Top stories from a not-so-top year

by Opportunity International Australia

In a year that left the whole world reeling, you made a substantial difference to the lives of people living in poverty. Here are just some of the stories that highlight the work that you supported in 2020. Ujjawala starts a jewelry business in Nagpur, India From bus conductor to small business owner, Ujjawala is forging a path out of poverty for her daughters. On International Women's Day 2020, we highlight some of the incredible women we work with In March, Opportunity International CEO Meredith…

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How sheep can fund a child's education

by Opportunity International Australia

Parbahati has been herding sheep for six years. She lives in a village a few hours from Jaipur in northern India, and also tills a field to help provide income to her family.   Like many marriages in India, the husband and wife often spend lengthy periods apart. Parbahati’s husband works a few hundred kilometres away managing a hotel, and Parbahati takes care of the house, her two sons, and a small herd of sheep, along with two dairy cows.   “We are four members in the family,” she…

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Fighting COVID-19 one year on

by Opportunity International Australia

It is the anniversary nobody wants to celebrate: one year since the first recorded cases of COVID-19. Lockdowns across the globe have shut down cities, but only increased the need for accessible and effective healthcare. One year on, and India remains one of the hardest hit countries, with daily infection rates higher than the total number of cases in Australia.   A fresh water supply is essential for handwashing in rural villages. Photo credit: Healing Fields Foundation “The obvious challenges…

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Happy birthday to Opportunity founder David Bussau

by Opportunity International Australia

Something troubling has been left out of Opportunity International Australia’s historical narrative. The story goes that Opportunity founder David Bussau lent Indonesian man, Ketut Suweria, $50. Ketut started a tailoring business, became self-sufficient, repaid the loan, and went on to start other businesses. But yes, there is more.  “It was an issue of bondage,” said David Bussau while visiting Opportunity International Australia’s office in November as part of his 80th birthday celebrations.…

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Faith, leadership and philanthropy through the generations

by Veronika Peters

Paul McClintock AO is widely known as one of Australian’s most influential business leaders. He has held multiple chair and advisory positions across industry and government including senior advisor to Prime Minister John Howard and as the chair of both CEDA and St Vincent’s Health. Veronika Peters, Opportunity’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, met with Paul and his daughter Claire to talk about faith, leadership, and philanthropy.   Above: Claire and Paul McClintock (left, middle) with Opportunity…

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Climate change and poverty – ‘Inseparably intertwined’

by Opportunity International Australia

Poverty is a lot more than a lack of income. Many factors — such as climate change — impact poverty levels, a person’s resilience, and their ability to move out of poverty and into a sustainable livelihood. This International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the link between poverty and the environment is being acknowledged as ‘inseparably intertwined’. It is a link that Opportunity International Australia has been championing for some time. Above: Heni (middle) is one of the many Opportunity…

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Opportunity's microfinance partners respond to COVID-19

by Opportunity International Australia

Opportunity’s microfinance partners have introduced new initiatives in response to coronavirus and to support families living in poverty during this time. Oneh, a health leader in Indonesia, demonstrates good handwashing techniques. Photo: supplied by an Opportunity partner India In India, tough lockdown measures introduced in March to limit the spread of the virus caused a significant loss in families’ income due to the closure of businesses. In response, loan repayment terms were extended for…

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Breaking the cycle of poverty

by Opportunity International Australia

Marta holds cooking salt ready for sale in Oebelo, Indonesia. Photo © Sara Bolst  Growing up in Oebelo, Indonesia, Marta’s family depended on income from selling salt to meet their daily needs. At 15, Marta dropped out of school to help her parents with their business.  “My parents were poor so they could not send us to school. All I wanted was to graduate from high school,” Marta said. “I felt regret but what can we do, our parents were poor so we should help them. I didn’t have any…

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Sangeeta's sewing success

by Opportunity International Australia

Sangeeta and her son at her tailoring business in Nagpur, India. © Kim Landy  Growing up in Nagpur, India, Sangeeta left school early to enter the workforce. There was barely enough food and her family just managed to get by. Sangeeta needed to earn money, so she began sewing at a local business. She worked seven days a week mending dresses and used her income to help provide for her family.  “I brought groceries for home as we were not able to eat good food,” she said.  Eventually, Sangeeta’s…

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