We are expanding the reach of our program! Together with Gema Alam we are going to provide access to microcredit for people in six remote villages on the island Lombok in Indonesia.

Gema Alam is a non-profit institution that has been supporting villages in the east of Lombok since 2005. The organization focuses on sustainable agriculture, women empowerment and community development. At a social survey in 2016, it became apparent that the main obstacle towards economic improvement was the lacking access to capital. “People are able to borrow, but at rates of 20% interest per month, they only work to repay their debt, and if they fail, the entire family is in a disastrous situation,” explains Juaini, program coordinator at Gema Alam. “We want to put an end to this dependency on lenders by offering fair loans and over that, assistance in marketing and sales.” Gema Alam has already put the latter into reality and helps the farmers to sell their products in the city. Coffee, ginger extract or handmade textiles are already being distributed to buyers by the non-profit.

After extensive talks and meetings, we have decided to cooperate with Gema Alam and provide micro lending programs to the villagers. Their inclusive approach and dedication has convinced us that this new venture can improve the lives of many people in the coming years. “Visiting the villages was like traveling back in time, many of the inhabitants still live in bamboo huts,” says Tobias Schüßler. “It’s not that they do not have any possessions, rather they are lacking the means to properly utilise their land or their skills. Over time, we can change that and help these people to improve their conditions by themselves.”

As microlending is still a new concept for Gema Alam, we will “test” our approach in two villages first. After incorporating the lessons learned into the program, we can include the other four villages. This is the first time that we as Global Micro Initiative operate on such a scale – a great way to put three years of experience to use!

You can become a part of this endeavour and transform entire communities with us: either by becoming a supporting member or by making a donation. Join us now and bring economic empowerment to people in Eastern Lombok!