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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 do women want?

by Chris Murdoch

One of the things I’ve been privileged to do in my ten years at Opportunity International Australia, is meet lots and lots of women. I’ve met them in the Philippines, China, India - rural Madhya Pradesh, urban Delhi, semi-urban environments like Kurnool and in remote locations like Varanasi. So, I’ve met hundreds of women in different contexts, widely different cultures, but it’s funny - they all say the same thing. The first thing these women say to me is they want financial services. They’re…

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Cooking up a spice fest

by Anna Bruno

After an awesome performance on last year’s My Kitchen Rules, semi-finalist Anna Bruno, is ready to cook up another great feast during November for Opportunity International Australia’s Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign. Having wowed audiences, with son Jordan, on the hit television cooking show, Anna says that helping families in need is her motivation for supporting Opportunity.  Anna and Jordan “It’s so important that Australian families give families in developing countries…

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by Opportunity International Australia

With its theme, The Heart of our Culture, National Water Week in Australia is the perfect time to consider how access to clean water is fundamental to our way of life and culture. In the first hour of your day, you might brush your teeth, shower, wash your face and use the bathroom. You may make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or simply fill a bottle with water. And the water is clean and healthy. Unless you’ve travelled recently, the water you drink each day probably isn’t making you sick—and…

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Poverty has many faces

by Simon Lynch

As we honour Anti-Poverty Week this week, I’m thinking about the many faces of poverty and how we need to understand and address each of them if we are to help families break the cycle of poverty.   Microfinance gives families a livelihood and regular incomes to buy life’s necessities, but many other challenges hold families back and prevent them from lifting themselves out of poverty. If families are constantly sick because they drink polluted water from the well, or women in India can’t…

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World Food Day: Invest in food security and rural development

by Roydon Ng

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been running World Food Day each year on 16 October since 1981. Building on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 of “Zero Hunger” and last year’s theme of a changing climate on food and agriculture, the issues of food security and rural development are important. As the SDG states, its aim is: “to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people – especially children – have access to sufficient…

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Global Poverty: An Amazing Success Story …but we still have a long way to go

by Chris Murdoch

On the eve of Anti-Poverty Week in Australia and the 25th anniversary of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I’m reflecting on the journey out of poverty so many families have made in the last twenty years. Journeys to freedom. Journeys to lives with choices, dignity and hope. In the late 1960s and early 70s, the global community recognised a very large number of families lived in extraordinarily challenging circumstances. Families who somehow survived on an income of less than US$2.50…

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Help a girl, change the world: why female empowerment is key to eliminating poverty

by Sara Bolst

Of the girls who make up 1.1 billion of the world’s population, those living in developing countries face some of the greatest challenges. Since 2012, International Day of the Girl Child—better known as Day of the Girl—has been honoured on 11 October to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. But what difference can empowerment, particularly in the form of education, make to girls in poverty? Income: Educated girls are more likely to earn a survivable wage A single…

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The Story of Mama Joy

by Jessica Carter

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is a half sorrow. Swedish proverb What does it mean to pursue a well-lived life? There are a thousand ways to answer this question but some especially good hints come from an unassuming pair of elderly ladies in eastern Indonesia. Here are a few lessons gleaned over a cup of tea and a plate of coconut cakes.  Hadyana and Samsye 1.       Friendship Sweden is a long way from the steamy island of Sulawesi, a volcano-studded landmass in the heart of the…

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The pathway out of poverty is complex

by Robert Dunn

Opportunity International Australia is driven by the complex needs and aspirations of families living in poverty. When planning for a family’s participation in our programs, we explore its journey to freedom, its pathway out of poverty. We ask: “What will give the family choices?” and “What will give the family purpose?” We see women as the agents of change in developing countries. Women are the heroes of the story. They are the ones who are not only agents of change in themselves and their…

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The best relationships are built on mutuality, trust, authenticity and passion

by Chris Murdoch

Everything in life happens through relationships and the best relationships are based on mutuality and trust. Authenticity and passion. At Opportunity International Australia, we form long term relationships with our local program partners in India, the Philippines and Indonesia. They’re the experts. They’re the ones who know the families in these countries and assess with them whether it’s a good business proposition for a family to receive a small loan to kick start or expand a little business.…

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