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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.

Each for Equal

by Meredith Scott

This month the world celebrates International Women’s Day – a day that recognises just how valuable, capable and resilient women are. Through Opportunity, I have met time and time again, incredible women who, when given the chance, go on to do amazing things. The key word here is chance. There is no doubt in my mind that what holds so many women back, is that lack of opportunity. The first steps to creating a gender equal world, is ensuring that women have the same opportunities as men – opportunities…

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"My dreams are my children."

by Opportunity International Australia

Ujjawala helps a customer try on a bangle in Nagpur, India. © Kim Landy Kneeling amongst bundles of colourful jewellery, Ujjawala carefully slips bangles onto a customer’s arm. The woman admires them before deciding to make a purchase.  “Everything has changed,” said Ujjawala, about life since she started her jewellery business in Nagpur, India.   Before her market stall, Ujjawala worked as a bus conductor for seven years. But the income wasn’t always enough to meet the needs of her two…

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The Macro on Micro(finance): Part 2

by Opportunity International Australia

In this second instalment on Microfinance, Opportunity’s Asia Programs Director, Mark Daniels, explores the changing nature of microfinance and the challenges that lie ahead. Read Part 1 here >> PART 2 Q: IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT ‘DEVELOPMENT IS A DISTRIBUTION GAME AND WE ARE A DISTRIBUTION NETWORK’. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? MARK DANIELS: That was actually said by Chris Murdoch, Opportunity’s former Head of Global Strategy. Chris is essentially saying that in development, we need to provide ‘doorstep’…

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The Macro on Micro(finance): Part 1

by Opportunity International Australia

Microfinance is a complex humanitarian intervention. It is also a sector that is experiencing great change. Mark Daniels, Opportunity International Australia’s Asia Programs Director, takes a broad look at microfinance to reveal its fundamental philosophy, how it assists those living in poverty, and the intricate challenges that lie ahead. PART 1 Q: WHY WOULD SOMEONE LIVING IN POVERTY WANT TO GET A LOAN AND GO INTO DEBT? MARK DANIELS: Like anyone, low income earners still require capital to…

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Giving a 'Can Too' attitude to Opportunity

by Veronika Peters

Walking through Annie Crawford and Simon Buckingham’s garden, one is immediately hit by the scent of ocean breeze mixed with the complex aroma of Indian spices. Their home brings together the outside and inside in perfect harmony and, like Annie and Simon, is both generous and authentic, beautiful and warm, and open and inviting to others.  Annie is the founder of Can Too Foundation, an independent health promotion charity committed to funding cancer research. Can Too provide coached training…

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Is ending poverty possible?

by Opportunity International Australia

In 2018, Opportunity International Australia adopted a new tag line: ‘Don’t fight poverty. End it.’ The line came from a fundraising appeal several years ago, but the idea stuck. It resonated. The line was bold, action oriented, and it was thought-provoking. But it was also contentious. People began asking what we meant; whether we thought ending poverty is, actually, possible. Our answer is yes, we believe it is. And interestingly, so does the UN. In 2015, all United Nations Member States…

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Small loans, big changes: Changing the stigma of menstrual hygiene in India

by Opportunity International Australia

Bebi Devi was married before her first period. Now working as a health leader (known officially as a Community Health Facilitator), Bebi teaches women and girls in local villages about menstrual hygiene and basic health care. Photo: Matthew Smeal Bebi Devi sits in a small, noisy warehouse three stories up in an old building in Bihar, India. The warehouse—part of Bebi’s small business—is used to store, pack and distribute sanitary pads throughout the region. She is recounting her childhood and…

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Making a Flavourful Impact: Meet AYAM

by Opportunity International Australia

\"We believe it’s important that we contribute towards putting an end to poverty.” We love having iconic Asian food brand AYAM™ support our Great Australian Curry campaign. We asked AYAM’s™ Linda Pipolo why it’s so important to them. Staff at AYAM™ hosting their workplace curry feast in support of Opportunity's Great Australian Curry campaign. Photo: supplied. Why did you choose to support the Great Australian Curry campaign? For us, the Great Australian Curry campaign is a great opportunity…

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Meet the Gondane Family

by Opportunity International Australia

Sikander, Sindhu, and their five daughters – Ruchika (26), Ruzail (24), Komal (23), Khushi (17), and Suhani (13). Sindhu and Sikander live with their five daughters in Nagpur, India. They took their first loan in 2008 and have since put everything into their daughters’ education. This is their story. SINDHU AND SIKANDER – CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE LOANS YOU RECEIVED FROM OPPORTUNITY’S PARTNER, ESAF? Sindhu: “I took my first loan in 2008 for Rs 8000 and used it to educate my children, as…

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The Man Who Likes People

by Matthew Smeal, National Communications Manager

In 2019, Dr Timothy Wright will step down as headmaster of the exclusive Shore school, a position he has held since 2003. Something he will step up to is philanthropy, specifically as a council member for Opportunity International Australia. Opportunity’s National Communications Manager—and Shore old boy—Matthew Smeal, took the opportunity to talk with Dr Wright about his appointment to the Council and how he believed a school like Shore—whose students, by Dr Wright’s own admission come…

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