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PO Box A524
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.

Connecting Women: Mobile Phone Access in Developing Countries

by Lucinda Needham

For most of us, our mobile phones help run our daily lives, connect us to our friends and family and enable us to consume news, entertainment and social media. Imagine, though, what is it like to be disconnected in an increasingly digital world? Mobile phones have had an extraordinary impact in advancing inclusion by breaking communication barriers and improving the social and economic status of women throughout the developing world. For example, a mobile phone can empower a woman, helping her feel…

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Country Spotlight: Indonesia

by Filiz Casey

It’s been just over a decade since the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami sent ferocious tidal waves across Indonesia. The high death toll coupled with widespread environmental damage (as salt water ruined crops and farmland) shattered communities and families’ livelihoods. Agriculture in Indonesia plays a significant role in the national economy. About 45% of Indonesians work in the field of agriculture. With its vast and abundant soils, Indonesia is a major global producer of a variety of tropical…

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Finding The Unbanked: The Findex

by Lucinda Needham

For you and I, the ability to make and receive payments by credit or debit is a part of everyday life. Here in Australia, digital payments are so advanced we can use our mobile phones and other advanced technology to pay for the things we need. Imagine, though, what your life would be like without access to a bank account or online banking services? For so many people across the developing world, the simple task of making payments, paying bills and receiving remittances means travelling for hours…

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The Struggle of Slums

by Lucinda Needham

Throughout the developing world, cities are growing at unprecedented rates. Concentrations of large urban slums sit on the periphery of overcrowded cities and are often the result of poor urban planning and the failure to develop adequate urban spaces with infrastructure and sewerage systems to support the rising population. ‘Slum cities’ are said to be the largest growing human habitat in the world, where one third, or 860 million, of the world’s urban poor live in households deprived of basic…

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Your Impact In 2014: Annual Review

by Stephanie Hristovska

Vibrant colours of material brighten the otherwise stone grey workshop of Riza Unto. She’s focused, sewing delicate stitches onto a surprising piece – a reusable sanitary napkin. She’s been making the napkins for about a year now, selling packs of five for Php.139-169 ($4-5), depending on their size. Like most successful entrepreneurs, Riza did thorough research before she committed to making this particular design, experimenting with many different samples. With a small loan of Php.3,000 (A$87),…

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Decisions That Change Lives

by Emily Nicola

Last week, Opportunity’s inaugural Mother’s Day event series came to a close. Why Mother’s Day events? Because mothers are the core of who we serve at Opportunity. A huge 94% of Opportunity’s loan recipients are women, women who use small loans to build businesses and earn the income they need to help their family leave poverty behind. Sadly, mothers living in poverty are faced with difficult decisions every day as they find themselves unable to provide for their families’ basic needs.…

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Not Without Mercy

by Robert Dunn

On Australia’s doorstep, women, children and men are dying. They’re dying from malnutrition and from diarrhoea. They’re dying during childbirth. They’re dying because they can’t afford medicine, proper meals or shelter to keep them safe and healthy. And they’re dying in their millions every year. If this was happening on the suburban streets of Australia, we’d be doing everything we could to stop it. We’d be calling on the government to do everything they could. We’d be feeding…

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Life Without A Loan

by Opportunity International Australia

Leo loves his mum and she loves him. “She is kind to me,” Leo says. “She tries to buy me medicine when I am sick.” Sadly, love alone cannot feed or provide medicine to Leo, 11, and his brothers and sisters. If it did, none of them would ever be hungry or without medical treatment again. Leo is in Grade 3 at school. He lives in a suburb of Manila in the Philippines. His home is in a slum. But amidst the abject poverty, Leo finds small pleasures. “I like to write,” he says. “I like to…

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Carly Fiorina Steps Down as Global Board Chair of Opportunity International

by Opportunity International

US Board Chair Mark Thompson to assume new role effective immediately Opportunity International Global Board Chair Carly Fiorina today formally announced her U.S. Presidential candidacy. As a result, she is resigning from Opportunity’s Global Board. “Opportunity is unique among nonprofits for their businesslike approach and sustainable client impact,” Fiorina said. “It has been my privilege to serve as their first Global Board Chair. They are in good hands with the many fine global leaders…

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The 10 Qualities Of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

by Stephanie Hristovska

Last year, Forbes released the results of a study conducted by Gallup to uncover the 10 traits of successful entrepreneurs. Over 1,000 people were surveyed and I can’t help but think that the results reflect the characteristics of Opportunity loan recipients beautifully! Take a look at the list below and may it remind you that your investment in mothers is bringing dignity, hope and opportunity to them and their families… 1. Business Focus: They base decisions on the potential to turn a profit.…

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