Email SignUp

Stay connected and receive updates from Opportunity International Australia.

Follow Us


PO Box A524
Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2020 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

Your impactEmpowering Women as Health Leadersin Asia

of common illnesses in developing countries are preventable
health leaders trained
people reached

As at December 2018

Share the impact of your giving

Approximately 70% of common illnesses in developing countries are preventable — lack of access to health services and knowledge mean many preventable illnesses continue to prevail.

Across India, families in one in four villages don’t have access to clean, safe toilets – instead practicing open defecation, leading to pollution and preventable spread of disease. And even preventable diseases such as diarrhoea can be deadly.

Thanks to your support, Opportunity International Australia’s program partner Healing Fields Foundation is empowering women as health leaders. These women (already microfinance clients) participate in basic health, hygiene and nutrition education which they share with community members. See how the health leader solution helps families on their journey out of poverty with improved health education and access to better quality healthcare. 

In India, your giving is helping to build healthier communities in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – places where many of the nation’s poorest and most socially excluded live. With over 4,000 health leaders trained already, we're now piloting initiatives to investigate how health leaders can secure sustainble health-related incomes after completing their interships, while increasing access to health products and services for their communities.

Healing Fields Foundation, together with our microfinance partner KOMIDA, are pioneering the health leader program in Indonesia. Following extensive community consultation and research adapting the curriculum and model for Indonesian communities, the first cohort of health leaders are now completing their 12 month internships.

Technology is increasingly playing a greater role in the health leader program. With more efficient program implementation enabled by technology, health leaders can reach even more families. Better use of data and adopting innovative health tools means improved health outcomes for families.

Over time the program will integrate these technologies while continuing to explore new possibilities – improving community knowledge, and making quality care increasingly affordable and accessible.


This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).


To December 2018, 4,339 women have been trained as health leaders in Asia. These women are reaching families in their communities with simple but life-changing health, hygiene and nutrition information to build healthier communities.


Our two livelihoods pilots – Basic Care Providers as first-responders, and Health Entrepreneurs to distribute vital health products – are continuing with ongoing refinement through lessons learnt. To December 2018, 215 health leaders are participating in the Health Entrepreneur pilot and 53 as Basic Care Providers.


Having completed their six-months training, our first cohort of health leaders in Indonesia have begun their six-month internships. So far they’ve reached 13,500 families with health knowledge and hygiene practices. As anticipated, the pilot has delivered key lessons in adapting the health leader model to best reach families in Indonesia.

Three months in to their internships, a common challenge so far is the lack of resources families have to implement what they’ve learnt. This challenge is shared with families in India – a key motivation for exploring our Health Entrepreneur pilot, to equip health leaders to be local distribution channels for essential products like sanitary napkins.

Your past updates

October 2018

March 2018 October 2017 March 2017 October 2016

Hear from health leaders

Health Leader Sunita with one of the vegetable gardens

New Meet Sunita

Sunita is a health leader with a green thumb – and a passion for nutrition.

Read more


Meet Navihan

As a health leader, Navihan has been finding creative ways to bring knowledge to her community.

Watch Navihan's Story


Meet Sunita

When Sunita heard about the health leader program she was eager to join. Attending classes meant battling her husband’s disapproval – until her new knowledge saved his life.

Hear from Sunita


Meet Sashikala

When Sashikala heard about the training being offered through Opportunity's program partner Healing Fields Foundation, she put up her hand immediately to become a health leader.

Watch Sashikala's story



Radhika is more than just an entrepreneur and health leader. She is a change agent, tackling centuries of social taboos, deeply entrenched beliefs about the role of women, and saving lives with her quiet blend of compassion and pragmatism.

Watch Radhika's story

Kum Kum Devi

Kum Kum

Since training as a health leader the changes in Kum Kum’s household have been significant.

Watch Kum Kum's story



Gangotri is determined to use her new knowledge as a trained health leader to help others.

Read Gangroti's story

Share these health leader's stories of transformation

Your Opportunity for More

Learn more about the latest impact of the programs you're supporting through Opportunity.

All Reports

Go on an Insight Trip

See your impact for yourself on an Insight Trip. 

Insight Trips

Opportunity News

Learn more about our work and latest news.


Opportunity events

We'd love to see you at our next event.