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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.

How Many New Businesses Could You Start This Week?

by Carden Calder

As we celebrate and encourage women entrepreneurs in honour of Women's Entrepreneurship Day, I have to stop and remind myself what it was like to have very little. In 1988 I left home aged 17 with about $35. I quickly learned if I didn’t manage my money I couldn’t eat, get transport or buy the textbooks I needed that would ultimately help me work my way out of my week-to-week existence. Fast forward 25 years and I can reflect on how fortunate I was to have access to loans. Access to a small amount…

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How A Small Loan Changed Seema's Life

by Opportunity International Australia

Seema lives in a slum just outside Delhi in India. Every day she struggled to feed her five children. But in spite of her hardship, Seema faced every day with a smile so wide it made everyone who saw it smile too. What makes her smile now is that someone just like you gave her an unimaginable gift. A loan of just $200 – a passport out of poverty. With her loan, Seema started a shop, selling snacks to workers nearby. With what to you or I might seem like a tiny amount of money to start a successful…

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Starting A School With $200

by Kate Saunders

Just 20 minutes from the head office of Opportunity Bank Uganda in central Kampala, I am in a ute, bumping up and down along dusty, rocky, unsealed narrow roads to reach one of the most well-reputed primary schools in all of Kampala. We pass what can only be described as extremely basic living dwellings, small market stalls and simple retail shops. Many people seem to be on foot, on the back of a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) or crammed into one of the many minivan taxis that fill the narrow and chaotic…

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Cooking Up Change

by Stephanie Dobbin

This year’s Food for Thought campaign is coming to a close and we’ve been blown away by people’s creativity and determination to make a difference. From drinking nothing but water for a month in ‘H20nly’ challenges to ‘bake-mails’ (hand-delivered packages filled with baked goods), Food for Thought events across the country have raised much-needed funds to equip community health leaders in India with life-saving knowledge in health, hygiene, nutrition and sanitation. One of these health…

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Leave No One Behind

by Katarina Andre

Since 1990, extreme poverty rates have been cut in half – but 1 in 9 people still remain hungry every day. Friday 17 October marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – a day were we recognise the need to reach out to those poorest and most excluded in our society. It’s a day when we are urged to ‘think, decide and act together against poverty’, allowing for inclusion of those most in need as we work together to find sustainable solutions for a world free of poverty where…

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Tackling the English Channel

by Ben Hutt

When you’re waiting to swim the English Channel and you’ve spent four years preparing, you can never really be prepared for the feeling you get when the pilot calls and says, “We’re on tomorrow!” We started at 3am in pitch black. Swimming in the dark is cool; swimming in choppy waters, trying to work out how to swim next to a fishing boat that has a bunch of big ‘daymaker’ halogen lights on it was weird. This first 2 hours were horrible. I knew I’d be encouraged by the sunrise and…

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Hot off the press: Insight Newsletter

by Benjamin Freeman

Have you had a chance to check out the latest edition of Insight? In this edition you can find out how families living in poverty are farming a future through small loans for items like buffaloes to milk or seeds to start vegetable farms. With 7 out of 10 people who live in poverty living in rural areas, training and small loans can make a significant difference in meeting the needs of struggling families. You can also spend a day with Nisha, a community health leader from Bihar, India. Nisha teaches…

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Country spotlight: India

by Katarina Andre

India is a bustling, vibrant country with a population of over 1.2 billion people. It’s one of the fastest growing economies in the world and home to some great wealth, and yet two in three of its families still live on less than US$2 a day. The challenges faced by these families are immense: Preventable illnesses like cholera and diarrhoea are common and can be fatal 1 in 4 people do not have access to electricity 2 out of 5 women over the age of 15 are illiterate and cannot read Access to basics…

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Investing in mothers

by Kristina Keneally

A world without extreme poverty is possible. It starts with mothers. A mother is the backbone of any family. For families in extreme poverty, a mother is most often the reason the family subsists and survives at all. Mothers in the developing world scrape together an existence that keeps their children alive and their families as intact and as safe as possible in perilous circumstances. Lifting families out of extreme poverty – and keeping them out – begins by investing in mothers. I’ve seen…

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Going H20nly

by Stephanie Semler

This September I’m doing it tough. No coffee. No tea. No juice. No alcohol. No soft drink. In fact, no drinks but water. And none of that fancy sparkling water, just plain and simple tap water. Don’t worry, it’s not a new diet fad or fitness program! I’m challenging myself to go without drinks to raise awareness of the radically different conditions people across the world live in, and to raise money to train health leaders in India so that these conditions can be improved. For me, giving…

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