Marce (middle) with her daughter and husband. © Sarah Gray
Life is tough for Marce and her family on Rote Island, Indonesia. She worries constantly about how to afford education for her children.
“I only wish my children could finish high school,” Marce said. “Our life is so hard now because we only think about our children’s education.”
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 and are also less likely to have access to the tools they need to leave poverty behind. Families may lack access to healthcare, education and other essential services.
Growing up, Marce wasn’t able to complete her education. Her parents passed away when she was in primary school, leaving her in the care of her cousins. After marrying, she began her family living under a roof made of leaves.
“We live like that because we want them to finish their schooling,” Marce said. “Sometimes we can’t even buy rice.”
But Marce’s children have big dreams for the future. Nipson wants to be a teacher, Anike and Alfred plan to enter into priesthood and her youngest son Alan hopes to join the army.
Marce is determined that life will be different for her children. With a small loan from Opportunity International Australia, 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.
Marce and her husband fish along the beach. © Sarah Gray
Opportunity is currently reaching more than 6.6 million families like Marce’s across Asia with small loans.
Thanks to our generous supporters, families living in poverty are empowered to grow their small businesses so their children can live in a safe home, eat better food and go to school. And that is just the start of your impact.
In the future, Marce dreams of expanding her cake business but her children’s education will always come first.
“I really want to make a variety of cakes but I don’t have enough tools,” Marce said. “I don’t even own an oven… baking tools are expensive now.”
“I have enough money but if I use it for that, what about my children’s tuition? If we can earn just a little more, our life will be better. I want to have a better life.”
Opportunity's work in Indonesia is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).