Rural Indonesian Communities:
With our project partner Opportunity International Australia, our raised funds provide microfinance loans to mothers living in rural Indonesia. Mothers are the epicentre of communities and by supporting them, we ensure brighter futures for themselves, their families and their community.
We wanted to choose a smart, scalable and sustainable way to end poverty, which is why we work to provide small loans to families living in extreme poverty in the Asia-Pacific. These loans - on average around $100 - give families the ability to purchase the tools they need to start or grow their own source of income. Some use the funds to purchase a sewing machine or material to start a tailoring business, others on bulk goods which they resell for a profit, and others on animals, like chickens or cows, that can provide food items to sell. And once their business is up and running, these families pay back their loans. This not only gives the families a sense of dignity and treats them like a real client, it allows the same funds to be recycled and directed to other families in need.
In Indonesia, two in three people live on less than US$2.50 a day. Families living in rural and remote areas are often the poorest. Many of them struggle to access shelter, healthcare, education and essential services, hindering their ability to leave poverty behind.
What we love most is that over 95% of these entrepreneurs are women – meaning together, we can directly support those who would otherwise struggle to access affordable financial services and become community leaders.
Marce is determined that life will be different for her children.With a small loan, Marce started her own business making and selling cakes to earn a reliable income.
“This a blessing, whether I make 100 or 200 cakes, it is always sold out. People even come to buy in the night,” Marce said.
Marce depends on this income to pay for food, gas for transport, and most importantly, her children’s school fees. Marce and her husband also fish along the beach as a way to earn additional income.
Using a loan, Oktavin built a stall near the road and purchased the supplies she needed to start her dream business.
There’s no other stall like this in the area, and Oktavin has many customers from mid-morning until late at night. She prepares the fish using her own spice recipe and cooks it on demand over a small grill set up near the road. The profits are much higher than what they used to be from selling fish alone, and the daily income is more consistent than fluctuating income that Abraham earns in the paddy fields.
The increased funds have allowed them to send their children to school, and their second daughter is now studying English at university. Oktavin’s dreams are to support all of her children this way, including her youngest – two-year-old Natalia.
Each day Heni carefully tends to her garden where she grows an assortment of fruits, vegetables and her son Yardi’s favourite, dragon fruit. It’s a job that she takes great pride in.
For many families living on Rote Island, Indonesia, farming and fishing are their main forms of employment. The island has an abundance of land and natural resources, but many families are still trapped in poverty, struggling to make ends meet.
But a humble community garden is helping to change that.
For the past year, Heni has been working at a community garden that she part owns.