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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.

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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What I saw

by Jemma Holden

In March 2019, 19-year-old Jemma Holden travelled from the UK to India to see Opportunity's health programs for herself. She reflects on her journey below. Jemma with Jessica Carter (Opportunity International Australia's Asia Health Program Director) and Poonam Kumari, a Community Health Leader, in Aurangabad, India. Photo by Jemma Holden. I had always wondered how a week in rural India would pan out and had thought about what sights and scenes would affect me most. I assumed I’d find the intense…

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From Bohemian Rhapsody to ending world poverty

by Veronika Peters, Chief Philanthropy Officer

It was a long flight and a movie about Freddy Mercury seemed in perfect order. The summary said: “The events in the lead up to “Live Aid”. Within two hours I was transported back to the eighties, and if I could have cranked the Queen songs up any louder in my seat, I would have. I was taken back to when I first saw the photos of the Ethiopia famine, of starving men, women and children—who could forget those images—and remembering Bob Geldof's call to mobilise the world to do something about…

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Why girls?

by Opportunity International Australia

“The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.” — Charles Malik Sikander and Sindhu never wanted a girl. In their home village of Nagpur, India, they dreamed of a different life – a life with sons. Yet whenever Sindhu gave birth, it was to a girl. They went on to have five daughters, each time hoping the child would be a son. “In India, the boy is considered the higher of the house,” Sikander said. “I felt I needed a boy to help me provide in the future.”…

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The importance of health

by Siri Wrigley

In March 2019, 19-year-old Siri Wrigley travelled from the UK to India to see Opportunity's health programs for herself – meeting three strong women along the way. Since completing her training, Imirty has more confidence sharing health information with her daughter. Photo: Siri Wrigley and Jemma Holden My week in the field definitely had an impact on me personally. I had visited India once before and came away thinking that the sole change needed was for people to have greater economic gain.…

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The changing climate of poverty

by Opportunity International Australia

How does climate change impact people in poverty? This World Environment Day, Opportunity's Global Impact Director, Calum Scott, discusses the relationship between climate change and ending poverty. 1. Opportunity International Australia is known as a microfinance organisation. Why the interest in climate change? Opportunity’s mission is to empower people living in poverty to transform their lives, their children’s futures and their communities. We empower people through providing financial and…

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Fishing for Success

by Opportunity International Australia

Opportunity is now reaching 1,000,000 people in Indonesia with life-changing small loans. This has grown from only 30,000 people just six years ago – a testament to the commitment of our partners, the vision of our team, and the giving of our valued supporters like you. It’s life-changing for women like Oktavin. Oktavin met her husband Abraham, a Rote native, on her home island of Dao. He had come to the island to sell vegetables, which Oktavin found herself buying much more frequently after…

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Survive to Thrive

by Opportunity International Australia

How important is health? In the lead up to World Health Day, Opportunity's Asia Health Program Director, Jessica Carter, speaks about the importance of running health programs in conjunction with more traditional microfinance programs to help people lift themselves out of poverty. Poonam is a Community Health Leader who wanted to learn about health issues and use that knowledge to help her village. Here, she is surrounded by the women of her village following a talk she gave on women’s health. Photo:…

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Why Women?

by Opportunity International Australia

\"This shop belongs to me!\" As a female business owner, Anjali is part of the majority of Opportunity’s small loan recipients—over 95 percent are female. It’s a huge percentage, and one that stands out when you note the overall lack of opportunities for women in developing countries. But why does Opportunity focus so much on women? There are many great reasons—here are three: 1) Opportunity is passionate about empowering women and involving them in financial decision making. When women have…

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Panchfula's Pappadums

by Opportunity International Australia

Panchafula started her pappadum business in the kitchen area of her home – a space no larger than a single square metre, located directly beside the sleeping mat where her entire family slept each night. \"We had only a one-room space where we had the kitchen on one end and bathroom on the other end,\" she says. \"In that same small area we also had our bed and near it we used to sit and take our meals.\" It was her mother who taught her how to make the pappadums, back when she was a child growing…

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