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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.

Education is key to ending poverty

by Claudia Brooks

When Chris Murdoch, head of global strategy and Asia programs at Opportunity International Australia, was based in rural Northern India, he learned Hindi so he could speak directly to Opportunity’s loan recipients. “Kumna,” he says, “that is the Hindi verb to wander . . . I did a lot of that there, and I spoke to a lot of women.” He wanted to ask them one question: “What is it you hope for?”  He was trying to get at the core of why people would burden themselves with microfinance debt.…

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On World Entrepreneurs’ Day let’s equip entrepreneurs in developing countries to end poverty

by Meredith Scott, CEO Opportunity International Australia

World Entrepreneurs' Day is a chance to celebrate the tremendous ingenuity and resilience of the millions of entrepreneurs in developing countries who are delivering an end to poverty for their families and local communities. Phulara, a grocery store owner in India and Opportunity CEO Meredith Scott How can it be that in 2018 on World Entrepreneurs’ Day, 1 in 3 people live on only US$3.20 a day? That’s A$4.34 - the cost of a large cappuccino in some Australian capital cities. And it’s all they…

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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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