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Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

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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.

International Literacy Day puts the spotlight on digital skills

by Meredith Scott, CEO Opportunity International Australia

Saturday 8 September is International Literacy Day. The United Nations honours this day to remind us of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights as well as the foundation for building a more literate and sustainable society. This year’s theme is ‘Literacy and skills development’, with a focus on youth and adults, lifelong learning and effective linkages between literacy and skills. Educators began linking literacy and skills in the 1950s, through the concept of functional…

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An Educated Difference

by Opportunity International Australia

On a road in Nagpur, India, Madhuri walks her children to school in their freshly pressed school uniforms, large backpacks engulfing their tiny frames. Ria (4) and Yesh (5) are two of the only children in the area able to attend the community school—many parents can’t afford to send their children anywhere other than the poorly resourced local public school, particularly at so young an age. But Madhuri has always wanted her children to receive a quality education, and, with your support, Opportunity’s…

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On the International Day of Charity we honour our generous supporters

by Koreen Cueto

Today, on the International Day of Charity, we celebrate our generous donors and volunteers who are helping to end poverty. The United Nations hopes through this day to mobilise people around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities. September 5th was chosen for International Day of Charity to commemorate the anniversary of the passing of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a renowned Catholic nun and missionary who devoted her life to helping families living in poverty and…

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Hope is a glimmer of light to guide us; it shines bright as a beacon

by Claudia Brooks

“Hope,” says writer Rebecca Solnit, “is a belief that what we do matters . . . an understanding that the future is not yet written.” To me, this is the spirit of Opportunity International Australia’s mission: to enable families in the developing world to end poverty and govern their own destiny. But for many, hope seems frivolous. Unhelpful. Naïve even. When Obama in 2008 announced ‘Hope and Change’ as his campaign slogan, many scoffed. Hope? What good will that do? And sure, hope…

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Happy World Entrepreneurs' Day!

by Joanna White, Chair, Opportunity International Australia

What a great opportunity to be reminded of the courageous among us who see the opportunity to make the world a better place and step up to the challenge. Joanna White, Chair, Opportunity International Australia I have been very fortunate to meet several quite amazing entrepreneurs in both my career in Business Banking and my involvement, currently as Chair, with Opportunity International Australia. The driving motivation for me across both my for-profit and for-purpose career has been the opportunity…

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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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