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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.

The Contribution We Make: A Letter From One Young Person To Another

by Koreen Cueto

Dear friend Sunday is International Youth Day. On Sunday we’ll celebrate the irreplaceable role youth play in all areas of society including politics, the arts, the not-for-profit sector and other industries. To all young people, especially those working to make our world a better and more equal place to live in, Sunday is YOUR day. Koreen Cueto Back in 1985, the United Nations (UN) first celebrated the International Year of Youth. In the following years the UN created guidelines and programs to…

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Empowering women to bring about change

by Kim Gibson

Leaders use power to achieve their goals and as with so many aspects of leadership, there are subtle gender differences in the way power is wielded in the workplace. Power structures are evolving in the digital age, with the old hierarchical model of power being replaced by one based on networking, influencing, team building and multi-tasking—characteristics generally associated with female leaders. Management models show the way things get done in today’s organisations is through networks and…

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"Teach a man to fish.." Celebrating entrepreneurs in developing countries who run microenterprises

by Koreen Cueto, Communications and Journalism Intern, Opportunity International Australia

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Tomorrow we celebrate the United Nations day for microenterprises, small businesses run locally by entrepreneurs in developing countries using microfinance loans. The UN calls them, “The first responders to societal needs,” because they are often present in the most remote areas of the world and provide livelihoods for vulnerable people, including women and youth. Attika What makes microenterprises…

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Awakening the Vulnerable Warrior: Developing Purpose, Confidence and Self-Belief

by Karyn Lisignoli

Many people struggle to find happiness or contentment in life. At the same time, many of us look around at the world and feel a sense of despair at what we see. What if the point of life was not to find happiness, but to find our purpose? What if we find our purpose through discovering who we are the deepest levels? And what if our core values indicate our purpose and create meaning in our lives? Through nearly twenty years working in the civic/charitable sector and thirty years of personal development…

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Prayer for the Marginalised

by Meredith Scott

At the Sydney Prayer Breakfast, CEO Meredith Scott offered this prayer for our city, our country, and our world. As part of the Opportunity community, this is also our prayer for you. Dear LordWe come humbly before You with thanks for the multitude of gifts You have given us, and acknowledge our responsibility of stewardship over those gifts, and to follow Your command to be Your hands and feet in this world.  Forgive us when we don’t do as Jesus would have done.Lord, we think of the marginalised…

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What mums give to the world

by Claudia Brooks

As a kid, Mother’s Day to me meant overflowing shopping centres and supermarkets filled with chocolates and flowers and balloons. It was frantic fathers ferrying kids around in search of that perfect gift. Amidst the chaos of this capitalist, Hallmark version of ‘gratitude’, I’d lost sight of what Mother’s Day really meant. I’d become so focused on the gift-giving, I’d forgotten to be truly grateful for the greatest gift my mother had given me—for being the powerful, resilient role…

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Why does it matter that 1.7B adults remain ‘unbanked’?

by Robert Dunn, Global Executive Director, Opportunity International

The latest World Bank report on financial inclusion[1] reveals the number of people in developing countries who have a bank account is on the rise, but 1.7 billion adults are still ‘unbanked’, with women less likely to have a bank account than men.     Using a bank account for financial transactions is critically important for both individuals and economies. When individuals don’t have an account, they use informal means to save, borrow and manage money. They may try to save by hiding money,…

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by Liz McCoy

In a world where we’re more connected than ever through technology and social media, we feel more disconnected, more alone, than ever before. I see it every weekend when I work as a nurse in a busy emergency clinic at a public hospital in Perth and we see it in government statistics for anxiety, depression and suicide. Theories abound about the causes of our feelings of loneliness, our sense of isolation. Let’s face it, we all want to be ‘seen’, accepted, understood - it’s at the core of…

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Using Enterprise as a Force for Good: Why I’ve Joined Opportunity as An Ambassador

by Tom Perfrement, Opportunity International Australia Ambassador

In the heart of Australia’s busiest and most cosmopolitan shopping precinct stands Pitt Street Mall. Huge banners sweep along church-like ceilings and words are emblazoned along the shop windows in electric yellow, asking you to ‘Find What Defines You.’ If capitalism was a religion, the shopping mall would be its temple, a well-oiled machine. But, for many, this rotating consumer world that tends to encircle us during the holidays, enlightens us to think bigger and bolder, beyond society’s…

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Let’s #pressforprogress on closing the gender gap

by Robert Dunn, Global Executive Director, Opportunity International

This International Women’s Day let’s #pressforprogress on closing the gender gap in economic, educational, health and political opportunities for women, particularly those in developing countries where women and girls face extraordinary barriers to achieving gender parity. Last year, the World Economic Forum reported that the gender gap across health, education, politics and the workplace widened for the first time since 2006.[1] On average, the 144 countries included in the report closed 96…

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