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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.

Violence against women is in everyone’s backyard. Let’s join together to eliminate it

by Hannah Surabhi

My parents are American, but I was born and grew up in India. India is home, and I love this country. As a woman living in India, however, I’m acutely aware of the gender issues that prevail in this country. I’ve experienced it. My closest friends have experienced it. Too often, women are perceived as being owned by their father, brother or husband; in some households, this means that they’re the last member of a household to be served food and in others, it means that parents only invest in…

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Violence against women isn’t a women’s rights issue, it’s a human rights issue

by Elca Grobler

Violence against women isn’t a women’s rights issue, it’s a human rights issue. More women are killed each year by domestic violence than by malaria, war and accidents combined. I’m driven by a righteous anger about the abuse and injustice so many women face today. With so much going so right, how can so much be going so horribly wrong? Half of the world’s population is being slowly killed off by the other half. How did we get to the point in our modern society where almost half of Indian…

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How entrepreneurs in developing countries are getting kids into school - now

by Chris Murdoch

The year 2000 was momentous. My daughter Isobel was born and with 2 billion children in the world, it was a year in which we were close to ‘peak child.’ Between 2000 and 2017, millions of children moved out of extreme poverty, but sadly, too many children still live in poverty, which often means they don’t go to school. There may be no school within walking distance, or the parents may not be able to afford the fees, or the children may be forced to work to supplement the family’s income…

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On World Toilet Day let’s end women’s daily search for a private place amongst the bushes

by Liz Henderson

In my early 20’s I taught science and maths to teenagers in the Kalahari Desert. My village was two days drive along a sandy track to the nearest town. Whenever I travelled into town and we had a ‘pit stop’, the men quickly found a spot to relieve themselves on one side of the Bedford truck, the women went to the other side to search for a scraggly acacia bush to hide behind for privacy. It was, for a 23-year-old used to modern comforts, confronting and awkward. This is the daily reality for…

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Can you imagine living without a toilet?

by Mukti Bosco

Having a toilet in your home is something taken for granted in Australia and many middle class and wealthy homes in India. But it’s not the norm everywhere, especially in India where it becomes more complex due to a traditional belief by many that a toilet inside the house is unclean, causes disease and spreads illnesses - so millions of families don’t have one. You may ask: “Why are you talking about toilets?” For one, I believe it’s is a human right and everyone needs dignity, also it’s…

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Why does India have such a high rate of missed calls?

by Chris Murdoch

One of the changes I’ve noticed in India during the last decade is how the mobile phone has become ubiquitous. When I started working in rural North India in 2006, maybe 1 in 20 people had a phone. Now it seems almost everyone has a phone – or at least access to one - whether it belongs to a spouse, family member, neighbour or the local community. I’m fascinated by how families use mobile phones In India. India is one of the largest markets for missed calls - people don’t answer calls so…

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Families in Australia can help families in developing countries by cooking up a spicy curry

by Kirsty Munro

Having a global focus is important. We all need to think beyond our own circumstances to raise awareness about families in developing countries who struggle just to survive. Struggle to feed their children. Struggle to put a roof over their heads. Struggle to send them to school. My family believes fundraising for Opportunity International Australia through campaigns such as the Great Australian Curry is a great way to connect with families in India, as there is no more traditional food in India…

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What do women want?

by Chris Murdoch

One of the things I’ve been privileged to do in my ten years at Opportunity International Australia, is meet lots and lots of women. I’ve met them in the Philippines, China, India - rural Madhya Pradesh, urban Delhi, semi-urban environments like Kurnool and in remote locations like Varanasi. So, I’ve met hundreds of women in different contexts, widely different cultures, but it’s funny - they all say the same thing. The first thing these women say to me is they want financial services. They’re…

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Cooking up a spice fest

by Anna Bruno

After an awesome performance on last year’s My Kitchen Rules, semi-finalist Anna Bruno, is ready to cook up another great feast during November for Opportunity International Australia’s Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign. Having wowed audiences, with son Jordan, on the hit television cooking show, Anna says that helping families in need is her motivation for supporting Opportunity.  Anna and Jordan “It’s so important that Australian families give families in developing countries…

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by Opportunity International Australia

With its theme, The Heart of our Culture, National Water Week in Australia is the perfect time to consider how access to clean water is fundamental to our way of life and culture. In the first hour of your day, you might brush your teeth, shower, wash your face and use the bathroom. You may make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or simply fill a bottle with water. And the water is clean and healthy. Unless you’ve travelled recently, the water you drink each day probably isn’t making you sick—and…

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