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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.

What mums give to the world

by Claudia Brooks

As a kid, Mother’s Day to me meant overflowing shopping centres and supermarkets filled with chocolates and flowers and balloons. It was frantic fathers ferrying kids around in search of that perfect gift. Amidst the chaos of this capitalist, Hallmark version of ‘gratitude’, I’d lost sight of what Mother’s Day really meant. I’d become so focused on the gift-giving, I’d forgotten to be truly grateful for the greatest gift my mother had given me—for being the powerful, resilient role…

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Why does it matter that 1.7B adults remain ‘unbanked’?

by Robert Dunn, Global Executive Director, Opportunity International

The latest World Bank report on financial inclusion[1] reveals the number of people in developing countries who have a bank account is on the rise, but 1.7 billion adults are still ‘unbanked’, with women less likely to have a bank account than men.     Using a bank account for financial transactions is critically important for both individuals and economies. When individuals don’t have an account, they use informal means to save, borrow and manage money. They may try to save by hiding money,…

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by Liz McCoy

In a world where we’re more connected than ever through technology and social media, we feel more disconnected, more alone, than ever before. I see it every weekend when I work as a nurse in a busy emergency clinic at a public hospital in Perth and we see it in government statistics for anxiety, depression and suicide. Theories abound about the causes of our feelings of loneliness, our sense of isolation. Let’s face it, we all want to be ‘seen’, accepted, understood - it’s at the core of…

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Using Enterprise as a Force for Good: Why I’ve Joined Opportunity as An Ambassador

by Tom Perfrement, Opportunity International Australia Ambassador

In the heart of Australia’s busiest and most cosmopolitan shopping precinct stands Pitt Street Mall. Huge banners sweep along church-like ceilings and words are emblazoned along the shop windows in electric yellow, asking you to ‘Find What Defines You.’ If capitalism was a religion, the shopping mall would be its temple, a well-oiled machine. But, for many, this rotating consumer world that tends to encircle us during the holidays, enlightens us to think bigger and bolder, beyond society’s…

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Let’s #pressforprogress on closing the gender gap

by Robert Dunn, Global Executive Director, Opportunity International

This International Women’s Day let’s #pressforprogress on closing the gender gap in economic, educational, health and political opportunities for women, particularly those in developing countries where women and girls face extraordinary barriers to achieving gender parity. Last year, the World Economic Forum reported that the gender gap across health, education, politics and the workplace widened for the first time since 2006.[1] On average, the 144 countries included in the report closed 96…

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Helping women and girls find their voice

by Chikondi Mpokosa, Director, Women and Girls Program, Opportunity International

International Women’s Day is the perfect time for us to remember the unique challenges young women and girls face when it comes to getting into and staying in quality schools. Globally, nearly 130 million girls are not in school and nearly 40 per cent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, if all girls had a secondary education there would be:  2/3 less child marriages 59 per cent less teenage pregnancies 1/2 as many child deaths universal declines in gender wage gaps greater reduced maternal…

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Let’s press for progress and empower Indigenous woman in India to live lives free from poverty

by Deepak Kindo, CEO, Sambandh Finserve

As we approach International Women’s Day, I’m reflecting on the way millions of Indigenous tribal women in the Chhottanagpur region of India now have sustainable livelihoods, a voice, futures filled with opportunities. It hasn’t always been this way for them. Indigenous women in Chhottanagpur, India These women, who are from the Santal, Kharia, Munda and Oraon tribes, have lived in the forests of Chhottanagpur for many years. There are nine million tribal households in the region and the…

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Let's get girls in India into quality schools this #IWD so they grow into empowered women

by Nathan Byrd, Head of Global Programs, Opportunity International

International Women’s Day is the perfect time to reflect on all that we’ve achieved over the last few decades in our efforts for gender equity in education.  Much of the work focused on access to education has brought powerful results in gender parity, achieving an equal percentage of girls and boys in the average classroom across many developing countries, thanks to a concerted effort by governments, development agencies and funders. What is becoming very clear, however, is that just getting…

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Everyday Social Justice: How to press for change in your 'regular' life

by Sara Bolst

If you're reading this, you have definitely encountered social justice movements in your lifetime. It's likely you've encountered one in the last week. It may not have been a march or a rally, and you may not have had to knit yourself a pink hat. It could have been as simple as a Facebook friend sharing a post on the state of Syrian refugees, a petition to support animal rights, or a post with #metoo.The idea of social justice is intentionally broad and has changed somewhat over the years. It's now…

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‘I can dream, plan, create, live. Live fully. Today and tomorrow. Because I have the means to do so.’

by Deanne Carter

We’re at the start of 2018. A moment is just a moment. These moments quickly roll into days, weeks, then months.  And in no time it’ll be Christmas, again. Will yours be another year, another missed opportunity without taking control of your financial future? On New Year’s Eve, will you be able to say: ‘I’ve moved my financial needle this year. I can dream, plan, create, live. Live fully. Today and tomorrow. Because I have the means to do so.’ Deanne Carter For a woman, there is a specific…

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