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Wednesday, 05 September 2018 21:46

TechnologyOne partners with Opportunity International to help children out of poverty

Radhika in India used a small loan from Opportunity International Australia to buy seeds and gardening equipment for farming, and to get money to send her children to school. Radhika in India used a small loan from Opportunity International Australia to buy seeds and gardening equipment for farming, and to get money to send her children to school.

Listed enterprise software company TechnologyOne and the Australian arm of global non-profit organisation Opportunity International have helped 12,000 children living in poverty through their philantrophic partnership with the goal of ultimately reaching 500,000 children and their families in need.

Both the TechnologyOne Foundation — established in 2016 to focus on empowering disadvantaged youth to transform their lives — and Opportunity Australia, say they have accelerated progress towards their ambitious goal, already reaching 12,000 children and their families in 12 months.

Under the program, the Australian-listed TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) donates funds towards Opportunity’s goal of getting 500,000 children and their families out of poverty.

Opportunity International is a non-profit microfinance organisation that provides small business loans, banking, insurance and training to nearly 9.6 million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world.

{loadposition peter)TechnologyOne’s executive chairman Adrian Di Marco said he was excited by the “incredible momentum” TechnologyOne’s multi-million-dollar philanthropic partnership with Opportunity has created.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved so far. In the last six months alone, we’ve helped more than 8000 children and their families free themselves from poverty, and that progress is continuing to accelerate at a rapid speed,” he said.

Di Marco said that through the TechnologyOne Foundation the company is helping families break the inter-generational cycle of poverty, by supporting Opportunity’s innovative microfinancing approach to charitable giving.

“At TechnologyOne, we believe we’ve got a lot more to offer the world than just great software. We have the opportunity to assist families to live healthier, safer, more empowered lives. By investing in youth we can make the greatest impact."

Opportunity chief executive officer Meredith Scott said by providing microfinance loans, Opportunity is equipping millions of women in India to build businesses, earn regular incomes, educate their children and create a future for their families.

“These women start a small business in their village and demonstrate real entrepreneurial skill to not only create a successful business, but to overcome the challenges of their environment such as a lack of clean water and sanitation and poor roads for transporting their products to market,” Scott said.

“When I was in India with Opportunity’s Board at the beginning of this year, I was inspired by the enterprising women living in rural villages who were building businesses using Opportunity loans—businesses like food stalls, dressmaking, kiosks and making papadums and tiffen (small boxes filled with a spicy lunch).

“Each of these women is determined to end her family’s poverty. They are driven to educate their children, so they can live dramatically different lives to their own.”

Di Marco says TechnologyOne has taken innovative approaches to reach its ambitious goal with Opportunity, enlisting the help of employees through a number of fundraisers, as well as customers and industry through conferences and events.

Next month, the company will profile the Foundation and Opportunity at VicWater’s flagship annual conference, where TechnologyOne is the exclusive technology sponsor.

In lieu of handing out gifts, merchandise and sales brochures to delegates, the company will transform its exhibitor booth into an Opportunity information station, and Scott will open the event’s dinner on 13 September.

“One of the many women the TechnologyOne and Opportunity partnership has assisted in India is Radhika , who has used her microfinance loan to farm a small plot of land. She also trained as a health leader and helped families in her village to access clean water,” Scott said.

“This story, in particular, shares many synergies with the Victorian water sector, which campaigns to give every person on the planet access to basic human rights such as clean water and sanitation.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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