Tobias Schüßler, our director, travelled to Indonesia for two weeks at the beginning of December to visit partner organisations and project participants, to verify the proper use of the donations and to plan further cooperations. He was accompanied on this privately funded trip by Dennis Franz from Sailauf, who has been supporting the non-profit association as a supporting member for almost three years. Dennis Franz reports:

“I enthusiastically accepted the invitation of Tobias Schüßler to accompany him on his trip to Indonesia in the time before Christmas. After all, I have been following the projects as a member for almost three years and did not want to miss the opportunity of a personal encounter with the people and the chance to get to know more about their living circumstances.

I had heard about the village development projects of the partner organization Gema Alam on Indonesia’s island Lombok and read reports of the massive earthquakes in July. Still, for me, the circumstances of the local people’s lives were shocking and not comparable to anything I experienced so far. The destruction caused by the earthquake is visible in many places and most people still live in temporary bamboo huts in front of their actual homes for fear of further quakes.

What impressed me deeply is how people embrace their situation and what happiness they radiate in spite of everything. We visited the village of Pringgasela. Here, women continue the traditional art of handweaving. Through a microcredit, they could finance a shop together where they offer their assortment of products, consisting of traditional sarongs to handbags and wallets. It was so touching to see their joy in presenting their products to us and experiencing how proud they were of what they had achieved by now. Touching moments when all the problems seemed forgotten.

The stories of the people and the already visible progress due to microcredit of about 100 euros showed me how much one can improve the living conditions of a person on site with a very small amount of donations for our circumstances. By improving the future of so many people, GMI motivated me to continue to keep supporting them in the future. ”

Text: Dennis Franz