Opportunity International Australia supports families in Indonesia to access the tools they need to work their way out of poverty.
One of the families accessing a small loan through Opportunity is Tri’s. Tri is a working mother in Jakarta where one in five people live in poverty. She is a tower of strength for her family – resourceful and resilient. She is hopeful for the future, but her family faces enormous challenges.
Tri and her husband Sumardi have four children, Rizky aged 20, Nadine 14, Anggini 12, and Fadhlan aged seven. Both Nadine and Anggini have severe disabilities, they are non-verbal and are unable to walk. The family never received a formal diagnosis for the girls’ disability, and they struggle to afford treatments. Instead, they resort to herbal remedies and massages at home.
Tri used to be a teacher, but everything changed when she had to look after Nadine and Anggini full time. The family were plunged into poverty. Sumardi had a job at a screen- printing factory, but his wages weren’t enough to cover all the expenses for the family of six.
Tri applied to Opportunity’s local microfinance partner for a small loan of Rp.2,000,000 (A$203.62) to help them start their own screen-printing business. The couple work together in a team effort, printing t-shirts, bags and merchandise for local companies. The business is set up in their home, allowing them the flexibility to care for the children whilst they work.
Tri understands the value of hard work. Her father died when she was just 12 years old, and her mother worked very hard to support her family.
Tri and Sumardi are starting to feel some of the benefits of the small loan.
“Before we started our own business, our lives were just ordinary, we couldn't buy this or that,” said Tri. “We can now afford a few more things, like vitamins and diapers. There is an improvement in our life.”
Thankfully, Tri’s family were able to move from a cramped one-room home, where they had to work outside screen-printing, to a two-room home allowing them to work inside, even when it rains.
Tri and Sumardi want to grow their business further to earn enough income to afford better healthcare and treatments for the girls and ongoing education for their sons.
“I have a dream that my first child will be able to continue his studies at university,” said Tri. “At the moment we can’t afford it and he has to work to help the family.”
Thanks to Opportunity’s generous supporters, Tri and Sumardi are well on their way to improving their livelihood and caring for their children in the best way they can.
Tri has a special message for Opportunity’s supporters who helped her with her microfinance loan. “Thank you for trusting me and giving me the opportunity”.
Poverty is an everyday crisis for families like Tri's. To support more families like hers, please consider donating today.