Families living in poverty are extremely vulnerable, and so building a safety net is a top priority for them. For want of a few dollars things can go horribly wrong so they need to develop a stable income to provide a home, nutritious food, schooling and medicines for their children.
Opportunity International Australia provides small loans to hundreds of thousands of families In Indonesia to build businesses, which range from food and handicraft stalls, to producing goblets from recycled cans and handbags from plastic bags.
The major improvement I’ve witnessed in Indonesia is that thousands of families who received loans have built businesses and can now provide two to three nutritious meals a day for their children, and the children go to school. The real advantage for families is they gain stability. In addition to this they also gain dignity.
Regardless of the size of the business, it gives me a real buzz when I talk to a woman who now sees herself as a businesswoman. Now she rightly views herself as somebody who is supporting her family, giving her more prestige not only in her family but also in the local community. If a woman is running her own business and supporting her family, she sets a great example for her children and others in the community. If you combine that with the greater stability in accessing food, medication and education, you get a picture of the difference this makes in the next generation. Children have an example to follow as well as additional confidence that they can provide for themselves once they are adults and eventually for their own families. Learn more about Opportunity’s program in Indonesia.