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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.

Annual Review 2015

by Robert Dunn

In a small village one hour outside of Jakarta, Indonesia, a young mother stood in front of a shop crying because of hunger. With two children by her side, she begged the shop owner to give them some food. When my children started crying, I became even more upset. I wondered, ‘How could life be so unfair?’ Today this mother and her children are not crying anymore – they’re smiling. Pictured on the cover of our 2015 Annual Review, Dewi and her daughter Nabila share a moment of joy and relief…

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The Evolution of Microfinance

by Jamie-Leigh Hecht

Since its rise in the late 20th century, microfinance has grown exponentially in its ability to reach and empower people living in poverty to transform their lives. Over 3,300 microfinance institutions reached 211 million people with a small loan by the end of 2013. 114 million of these clients were among the poorest when they took their first loan. 83 percent of these poorest clients were women. But where did it all begin and how did we get to where we are today? Microcredit can actually be traced…

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What Does It Mean To Lose Everything?

by Benjamin Freeman

Emi is a mother from Indonesia who recently lost her home, business and belongings in a fire. After her husband passed away, Emi started a small kiosk, selling items like rice and soap to people in her village, located a couple of hours outside of Soe in Indonesia. From the kiosk she was able to earn just enough to feed her children and put a roof over their heads. That was until the fire. When it struck, Emi’s youngest daughter Betrik was inside. Aged just 8, little Betrik is deaf and mute, so…

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Why Help A Mother?

by Marie Laurie

A core pillar of Opportunity International Australia’s work is to invest in mothers through small loans so they can start businesses, earn incomes and leave poverty behind. Currently, 94% of loans are given to women, providing them with an opportunity to gain financial independence. The motivation behind this is that women living in poverty are more likely to be excluded from formal financial services. Furthermore, women are more likely to invest their income back into their children, family and…

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Why We Microfinance? To impact generations

by Anitha Thiraviarajah

This April is the Month of Microfinance and here at Opportunity we are delighted to celebrate the power behind it! Ever since I was little, when watching TV or listening to the radio, I had always been exposed to media campaigns from charities where the call to action was donating money to a cause. As a result, it led me to believe that people were poor because they didn’t have money. Although a lack of income does play a part in poverty, I have come to understand that it is not solely a matter…

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A Small Price To Pay For Freedom

by Jamie-Leigh Hecht

George W. Carver once said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” For some, however, it is a commodity that is not always accessible. Frederica Tahun is a mother of four. At 35 years of age, she still feels immense sadness due to her lack of access to education. Being one of eight children, her parents were unable to provide the fees required to continue her schooling so at 14 years old, Frederica could no longer go to school. Living in Soe, a small red-dirt village in…

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Hot Off The Press: Opportunity Magazine Autumn 2016

by Robert Dunn

Opportunity’s vision is a world in which all people have the opportunity to achieve a life free from poverty, with dignity and purpose. The act of building a small business and repaying a loan is essential to this, not just because it improves livelihoods, but because it restores dignity with a hand up and renews purpose. And that purpose is a selfless one, as I learned from reading the story of Mary Antony. Pictured on the cover, standing in front of an electric blue wall that displays her calm…

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More Time. More Energy.

by Daniel Brini

When you think of superpowers, you think of Superman flying, Thor’s hammer or Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth. Not so with business magnates and philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates. When considering what superpowers they desire in their 2016 Annual Letter, they say, “More time, more energy.” And further to this, “If the world can put more of both into the hands of the poorest, we believe it will allow millions of dreams to take flight.” MORE TIME Women and girls living in poverty are…

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Champions Of Change

by Emily Nicola

Last month I travelled to India to visit some of Opportunity International Australia's microfinance and community development programs helping families leave poverty behind. India is a place that can’t really be explained – you have to experience it for yourself. That’s because there’s nowhere else in the world that provides such a feast for your senses: the noisy traffic, the aroma of street food, the bright colourful saris and the sweetness of chai tea. It’s joyful chaos. It’s also…

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Transforming A Tribe

by Daniel Brini

The 1991 Pinatubo Volcano eruption in the Philippines was the second largest volcanic eruption of the last century and in its wake was the displacement of tens of thousands of people. The Aeta tribe was displaced by this cataclysmic event and left largely without livelihood opportunities besides selling cassava, the most common source of carbohydrates in the world’s developing regions. Following the eruption, the tribe was resettled with educational and health support from the Filipino government.…

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