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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.

Growing fruit on other people’s trees - 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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The power of digital finance in a pandemic

by Opportunity International Australia

Technology is helping women access their finances without the need to travel to a bank branch. © Opportunity International US Accessing and managing money is one of the biggest challenges for people living in poverty – yet it is essential for them to unlock basic services. As we move towards an increasingly digitalised world, how do we ensure they aren’t left behind? Opportunity International’s Digital Financial Services team explains.  Digital financial inclusion is driving the next wave…

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Gender-based violence: "The Shadow Pandemic"

by Opportunity International Australia

In India, the National Commission for Women reported a rise of 94 per cent in complaint cases where women have been abused in their homes during lockdown. © Kim Landy  For every three months of lockdown due to COVID-19, an estimated 15 million people—mostly women and girls—have suffered from gender-based violence, globally. Since the start of the pandemic, multiple international agencies and national activists have raised a red flag about the increase in gender-based violence (GBV).   “The…

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University study links Opportunity’s School Improvement Loans with improved educational outcomes

by Opportunity International Australia

Students at a school in Nagpur, India. With the assistance of School Improvement Loans, schools can buy textbooks, build toilet blocks, purchase materials, and invest in teacher salaries. © Kim Landy A recent study conducted by the University of Chicago’s Center for RISC in partnership with Opportunity, shows the importance of Opportunity’s EduFinance Program to improve educational outcomes for children. “This is the first evidence we have that the EduFinance program is not only increasing…

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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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