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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 & 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.

Small loans, big changes: Changing the stigma of menstrual hygiene in India

by Opportunity International Australia

Bebi Devi was married before her first period. Now working as a health leader (known officially as a Community Health Facilitator), Bebi teaches women and girls in local villages about menstrual hygiene and basic health care. Photo: Matthew Smeal Bebi Devi sits in a small, noisy warehouse three stories up in an old building in Bihar, India. The warehouse—part of Bebi’s small business—is used to store, pack and distribute sanitary pads throughout the region. She is recounting her childhood and…

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Making a Flavourful Impact: Meet AYAM

by Opportunity International Australia

\"We believe it’s important that we contribute towards putting an end to poverty.” We love having iconic Asian food brand AYAM™ support our Great Australian Curry campaign. We asked AYAM’s™ Linda Pipolo why it’s so important to them. Staff at AYAM™ hosting their workplace curry feast in support of Opportunity's Great Australian Curry campaign. Photo: supplied. Why did you choose to support the Great Australian Curry campaign? For us, the Great Australian Curry campaign is a great opportunity…

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Meet the Gondane Family

by Opportunity International Australia

Sikander, Sindhu, and their five daughters – Ruchika (26), Ruzail (24), Komal (23), Khushi (17), and Suhani (13). Sindhu and Sikander live with their five daughters in Nagpur, India. They took their first loan in 2008 and have since put everything into their daughters’ education. This is their story. SINDHU AND SIKANDER – CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE LOANS YOU RECEIVED FROM OPPORTUNITY’S PARTNER, ESAF? Sindhu: “I took my first loan in 2008 for Rs 8000 and used it to educate my children, as…

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The Man Who Likes People

by Matthew Smeal, National Communications Manager

In 2019, Dr Timothy Wright will step down as headmaster of the exclusive Shore school, a position he has held since 2003. Something he will step up to is philanthropy, specifically as a council member for Opportunity International Australia. Opportunity’s National Communications Manager—and Shore old boy—Matthew Smeal, took the opportunity to talk with Dr Wright about his appointment to the Council and how he believed a school like Shore—whose students, by Dr Wright’s own admission come…

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The Power of a Movement

by Veronika Peters, Chief Philanthropy Officer

It was late in the evening, at the end of our national dinner. Our speakers had shared about their dream to end poverty. I was excited about the atmosphere in the room. There was a sense of community and anticipation, of endless possibilities and inspiration. People were talking and nobody wanted to leave despite the event having finished a half hour before. Then one of our faithful long-term supporters leaned across the table and asked: “Do you genuinely think ending poverty is possible?” The…

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Breaking the cycle of extreme poverty

by Opportunity International Australia

It’s a warm, humid day near the top of a hill in Pampanga, on the Philippine island of Luzon. Nanny Bonna is visibly upset as she recounts the anguish of having her children not attend school. “All I want for my children is to send them to school,” she says. “We have eyes but cannot even read.” The importance of an education and what it would mean for her children is not lost on Nanny Bonna. “My children will not be easily fooled. They will know how to read and to even count money,”…

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Sewing the future

by Opportunity International Australia

Manda at work on her sewing machine, purchased with the help of a small loan. Photo: Kim Landy When Manda lost her husband to suicide, leaving her alone with two young children, she knew she needed a way to earn an income – fast. She rented out a room in her home as a temporary way to make ends meet, and quickly found that her tenant had sewing skills – skills she would be willing to share. With the help of a small loan, Manda purchased a sewing machine and took sewing lessons from her tenant…

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Finding a needle in a haystack

by Opportunity International Australia

In August 2018, the Indian state of Kerala endured the worst flooding in a century. Around 500 people lost their lives while more than 1 million were evacuated from their homes. They returned to widespread destruction. On the anniversary of last year's deluge, Kerala is once again enduring catastrophic flooding, with floodwaters washing away homes and livelihoods, leaving families stranded. For families struggling in the aftermath of a natural disaster, accessing funds is key to rebuilding their…

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Three minutes

by Jessica Carter

What did you do in the last three minutes? Chat to a friend? Scroll Instagram? Eat some lunch? Do you know what else happened? A girl was sold in India. And in the next three minutes, another girl will be sold too. Every three minutes a girl in India is sold into slavery. Her average age is 12.1 I recently attended the first Asian Anti-Trafficking Forum, hosted by Opportunity International’s program partner My Choices Foundation. The forum was attended by over 90 Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepalese…

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My Choices: Building Strong Women and Good Fathers

by Elca Grobler

Providing small loans to women is often the solution that allows families to lift themselves out of poverty. But what happens when those women—a staggering 50 per cent of women in India—are suffering abuse at the hands of their husbands? Elca Grobler, founder of Opportunity International Australia's partner My Choices Foundation, journeyed to India to help women leave poverty behind through microfinance. What she saw changed the way she thought about ending poverty. Elca shared with us how the…

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