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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.

UPDATE: Our response to India's second COVID-19 wave

by Meredith Scott

Dear friends,  The news that's coming out of India is terrifying. An average daily infection rate of 350,000 as reported last week, with a peak of 402,000 last Friday, is a grim reminder to us that COVID-19 is still very real. Every one of those statistics represents an individual, someone who's loved by a family, and who has hopes for a better future.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to our team in India, and the staff of the 12 different implementation partners that we do our work through. Each…

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One disease away from losing everything

by Opportunity International Australia

The reality for 926.6 million people every year COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts that have touched each of us in some way. Whether through lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, school closures, health concerns, loss, anticipation, or fear— we have all experienced the vulnerability that emerges with a health pandemic. However, each year, for millions of people across the world, health-related vulnerabilities are a daily reality. 926.6 million people incurred catastrophic health spending, defined…

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How green loans grow a sustainable future

by Opportunity International Australia

Small loans change lives, and now they can build a sustainable future through green businesses. Small loans can make a huge difference for those living in poverty. It’s well researched and understood that helping to kickstart and support a business can break the cycle of poverty – for good. But as our climate continues to change, the factors that make a business sustainable has shifted, and Opportunity’s program partners are adapting to assist families across Asia pioneer financially and…

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The Pink Pandemic: How COVID-19 is doubling down on the gender divide

by Meredith Scott

Women across the globe face many challenges, but particularly in 2020, with disproportionate limitations, and the impact of pandemics and recessions. This International Women's Day provides the opportunity to celebrate the women saying 'I choose to challenge' those inequalities, including the disproportionate affect the COVID-19 has had on women, especially women with children, and young women. COVID-19 has caused a huge shift in the way we work. Lockdowns led to significant economic slowdowns,…

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A Day in the Life of India's Domestic Violence Counsellors

by Opportunity International Australia

One in three women in India will experience gender-based violence in their lifetime. Of those women, eighty-six percent will not seek help. For those who do courageously reach out, our program partner My Choices Foundation is there. Providing legal support, emergency accommodation and counselling around the clock, demand has only risen for these services during COVID-19. The Indian National Commission for Women finding that during the March to May lockdown of last year, more complaints to authorities…

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Marmalade for Microfinance

by Opportunity International Australia

From small jars of preserves, big change can occur. Chief Philanthropy Officer, Veronika Peters, sat down with Kirsty 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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