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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.

Poverty in a pandemic

by Opportunity International Australia

  COVID-19 is affecting all of us, but it could devastate vulnerable communities. Surviving a pandemic requires a reliable income, savings for unplanned expenses and quality healthcare – resources families living in poverty already struggle to access.  No work, no money  As governments introduce tighter restrictions and lockdowns in response to coronavirus, many people are not able to work. For families living in poverty, this could mean weeks without their sole income source and no food for…

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From the field: meet Jessica Carter

by Opportunity International Australia

Jessica Carter, Asia Health Program Director (right), in Uttar Pradesh, India with Asha, a community member participating in Opportunity’s health program.  Jessica Carter is passionate about making the world a better place. This passion has taken her everywhere from India and Bangladesh, to China and South Korea. After graduating from the University of Sydney, Jessica began her career working as a journalist, then moved into community development and health.  Today she is based in Hyderabad,…

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Marce's wish for her children

by Opportunity International Australia

Marce (middle) with her daughter and husband. © Sarah Gray  Life is tough for Marce and her family on Rose Island, Indonesia. She worries constantly about how to afford education for her children. “I only wish my children could finish high school,” Marce said. “Our life is so hard now because we only think about our children’s education.” In Indonesia, two in three people live on less than US$2.50 a day. Families living in rural and remote areas are often the poorest and are also less…

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Update: Our COVID-19 response

by Meredith Scott

Dear friends, As you are all aware, the world is currently facing uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our concern will always be with those whom we seek to serve – people who are amongst the world’s most vulnerable. But our concern is also with our Australian staff, with our implementing partners on the ground – and with you. I pray that you all remain safe and healthy during this time. The work that you so generously support, is centred in India, Indonesia, and now, Bangladesh…

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How you help women out of poverty

by Opportunity International Australia

Shivali and Savitri – friends, neighbours and two women committed to building healthier villages in India. © Siri Wrigley and Jemma Holden  Women living in poverty bear an unequal burden of unpaid domestic work. Women are overrepresented in informal and precarious jobs. Women work longer hours than men and earn lower wages. But women living in poverty are much more than their struggles.  Opportunity is dedicated to seeing women empowered through each of our programs: microfinance, health, education…

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Each for Equal

by Meredith Scott

This month the world celebrates International Women’s Day – a day that recognises just how valuable, capable and resilient women are. Through Opportunity, I have met time and time again, incredible women who, when given the chance, go on to do amazing things. The key word here is chance. There is no doubt in my mind that what holds so many women back, is that lack of opportunity. The first steps to creating a gender equal world, is ensuring that women have the same opportunities as men – opportunities…

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"My dreams are my children."

by Opportunity International Australia

Ujjawala helps a customer try on a bangle in Nagpur, India. © Kim Landy Kneeling amongst bundles of colourful jewellery, Ujjawala carefully slips bangles onto a customer’s arm. The woman admires them before deciding to make a purchase.  “Everything has changed,” said Ujjawala, about life since she started her jewellery business in Nagpur, India.   Before her market stall, Ujjawala worked as a bus conductor for seven years. But the income wasn’t always enough to meet the needs of her two…

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The Macro on Micro(finance): Part 2

by Opportunity International Australia

In this second instalment on Microfinance, Opportunity’s Asia Programs Director, Mark Daniels, explores the changing nature of microfinance and the challenges that lie ahead. Read Part 1 here >> PART 2 Q: IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT ‘DEVELOPMENT IS A DISTRIBUTION GAME AND WE ARE A DISTRIBUTION NETWORK’. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? MARK DANIELS: That was actually said by Chris Murdoch, Opportunity’s former Head of Global Strategy. Chris is essentially saying that in development, we need to provide ‘doorstep’…

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The Macro on Micro(finance): Part 1

by Opportunity International Australia

Microfinance is a complex humanitarian intervention. It is also a sector that is experiencing great change. Mark Daniels, Opportunity International Australia’s Asia Programs Director, takes a broad look at microfinance to reveal its fundamental philosophy, how it assists those living in poverty, and the intricate challenges that lie ahead. PART 1 Q: WHY WOULD SOMEONE LIVING IN POVERTY WANT TO GET A LOAN AND GO INTO DEBT? MARK DANIELS: Like anyone, low income earners still require capital to…

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Giving a 'Can Too' attitude to Opportunity

by Veronika Peters

Walking through Annie Crawford and Simon Buckingham’s garden, one is immediately hit by the scent of ocean breeze mixed with the complex aroma of Indian spices. Their home brings together the outside and inside in perfect harmony and, like Annie and Simon, is both generous and authentic, beautiful and warm, and open and inviting to others.  Annie is the founder of Can Too Foundation, an independent health promotion charity committed to funding cancer research. Can Too provide coached training…

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