A few months ago, several strong earthquakes shook the Indonesian island of Lombok. First aid reached the victims quickly and the locals could soon begin to rebuild their homes. The economic life in the small villages, however, came to a complete fall for a few weeks. Together with our partner organisation Gema Alam, we gave village communities the opportunity to rebuild their businesses without having to rely on alms or to pay exorbitant interest to commercial money lenders.
With its coffee cultivation, Indonesia ranks among the top 10 coffee-growing areas. Compared to other growing regions of the world, the Robusta coffee bean is mainly grown, which is stronger and slightly more bitter than the more common Arabica bean in Europe. Our micro-borrower Sopian opened his own coffee shop a year ago. Every month he buys about 10 kg of coffee beans from local farmers and sells them in smaller units or directly as freshly brewed coffee to his customers. Although the business is not as profitable as he hoped at the beginning, he still earns around €30 a month. With a microcredit of €130, Sopian has been able to reopen his business after the earthquake.
For travelers who haven’t thought of everything or are spontaneously planning a camping trip, Lalu opened his camping equipment rental store in 2017. To equip tourists for a camping trip, he offers all basic equipment such as tents, sleeping pads, backpacks and other necessary products. The 32-year-old father and husband earns about €60 a month with the business. The store is showing great promise for the future. Lalu raised the capital for his business completely himself.
With a micro-loan of €130, Lalu was able to buy new items after the quake and thus resume his business. Now, only the tourists have to return to Lombok, but Lalu is optimistic about that.
Sukardi runs a small shop. There he sells mobile phone credit and other products. The house where he currently lives is located in a small village adjacent to the forest. Before the earthquake, he had applied for a micro-loan to buy a printer and turn his store into a print shop. Now Sukardi received the €130 to buy necessary equipment and supplies.
“Having access to fair financial services and practical consulting transforms entire village communities,” says director Tobias Schüßler. “Together with Gema Alam, we can do a lot of good here. For this to happen, we need more supporting members and donors who want to empower the families in Lombok to live a better and more independent life.”