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

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2019 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

News Blog

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

Empowerment: My Duty

by Meredith Scott

Thousands of women in colourful saris forming a human chain. It’s a powerful image, and one that dominated our screens last week. The press reported the human chain was up to 620km in length, and may have involved more than five million women. Although social media is covered in conflicting data about how long, how many women, and even whether all women were voluntarily there, the photographs clearly show a multitude of women standing in protest. But what got them so passionate? In September 2018,…

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Know your narrative

by Kirstin Bouse

 As a Clinical Psychologist I am often asked why psychologists spend so much time asking people about their history. Asking about someone’s childhood is a cliché but there is a reason why we do it. What I’ve realised over the years as a psychologist is the more you understand where you come from and who and what shaped you, the more you’re able to understand your strengths and weaknesses and develop compassion for yourself. Kirstin Bouse It also enables you to put events in your life into…

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The Power of Choice

by Sarah Gray

It’s not hard to figure out how families earn a living in rural Rajasthan. On the drive through India’s conservative north-east we pass marble quarry after marble quarry—a sea of white, with brightly-coloured saris a perfect contrast to the landscape. When we arrive at a local house, we’re welcomed through the front gate into a small compound with three small bedrooms, a tiny kitchen, and a shaded courtyard with a brilliant white marble floor. After a mat is laid out for us to sit on, the…

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Building Healthy Communities

by Opportunity International Australia

Thanks to your support, over 50 women in West Java have become the first in Indonesia to undertake Opportunity’s community health leader training.The program in Indonesia draws on learnings from five years of working with families in northern India to improve health outcomes. In both countries, health can be a significant obstacle for families hoping to work their way out of poverty. Extensive community consultation informed the health leader curriculum which is tailored to local families, focusing…

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International Literacy Day puts the spotlight on digital skills

by Meredith Scott, CEO Opportunity International Australia

Saturday 8 September is International Literacy Day. The United Nations honours this day to remind us of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights as well as the foundation for building a more literate and sustainable society. This year’s theme is ‘Literacy and skills development’, with a focus on youth and adults, lifelong learning and effective linkages between literacy and skills. Educators began linking literacy and skills in the 1950s, through the concept of functional…

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An Educated Difference

by Opportunity International Australia

On a road in Nagpur, India, Madhuri walks her children to school in their freshly pressed school uniforms, large backpacks engulfing their tiny frames. Ria (4) and Yesh (5) are two of the only children in the area able to attend the community school—many parents can’t afford to send their children anywhere other than the poorly resourced local public school, particularly at so young an age. But Madhuri has always wanted her children to receive a quality education, and, with your support, Opportunity’s…

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On the International Day of Charity we honour our generous supporters

by Koreen Cueto

Today, on the International Day of Charity, we celebrate our generous donors and volunteers who are helping to end poverty. The United Nations hopes through this day to mobilise people around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities. September 5th was chosen for International Day of Charity to commemorate the anniversary of the passing of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a renowned Catholic nun and missionary who devoted her life to helping families living in poverty and…

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Hope is a glimmer of light to guide us; it shines bright as a beacon

by Claudia Brooks

“Hope,” says writer Rebecca Solnit, “is a belief that what we do matters . . . an understanding that the future is not yet written.” To me, this is the spirit of Opportunity International Australia’s mission: to enable families in the developing world to end poverty and govern their own destiny. But for many, hope seems frivolous. Unhelpful. Naïve even. When Obama in 2008 announced ‘Hope and Change’ as his campaign slogan, many scoffed. Hope? What good will that do? And sure, hope…

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Happy World Entrepreneurs' Day!

by Joanna White, Chair, Opportunity International Australia

What a great opportunity to be reminded of the courageous among us who see the opportunity to make the world a better place and step up to the challenge. Joanna White, Chair, Opportunity International Australia I have been very fortunate to meet several quite amazing entrepreneurs in both my career in Business Banking and my involvement, currently as Chair, with Opportunity International Australia. The driving motivation for me across both my for-profit and for-purpose career has been the opportunity…

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Education is key to ending poverty

by Claudia Brooks

When Chris Murdoch, head of global strategy and Asia programs at Opportunity International Australia, was based in rural Northern India, he learned Hindi so he could speak directly to Opportunity’s loan recipients. “Kumna,” he says, “that is the Hindi verb to wander . . . I did a lot of that there, and I spoke to a lot of women.” He wanted to ask them one question: “What is it you hope for?”  He was trying to get at the core of why people would burden themselves with microfinance debt.…

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