Several powerful earthquakes shook the small village of Sapit in the east of the Indonesian island of Lombok last year. Many buildings were damaged or destroyed. Residents in the region were panicking, many have lost confidence in a “safe” home. Even half a year later, most people don’t dare stay in their homes. Instead, they sleep in self-made tents, simple bamboo scaffolding covered with waterproof tarps.
A local resident tells us: “I will never close the door again. At the last quake I wanted out, but the frame got warped, and I couldn’t open the door. That was such a terrible feeling. The walls shake and you can’t get out. ”
Even at Sopian’s, the door remains open during our visit. The 30-year-old sells and rents camping gear to tourists looking to explore Rinjani National Park. He also maintains a coffee roasting business with his mother. He would rather not talk about the camping shop, because hardly any tourists come anymore, many hiking trails are no longer accessible. “The coffee business is going better,” Sopian says. “I’m doing a lot of advertising through Instagram and people from around the area continue to buy.” The creative small business owner took care of the packaging design and marketing on his own. He originally requested a microcredit for extra camping equipment but used it for his coffee business.
“I’m glad Sopian acted so wisely here,” Tobias Schüßler, director of GMI, assesses the situation. “Of course, we want our micro-credits to be used for the agreed purposes. In Sopian’s case, though, that would have led to a disaster for the family. When they applied for the microcredit before the earthquake, the situation was different. Now we are glad to have given the family the opportunity to continue to stand on their own feet despite the economic consequences of the earthquake.”
Sopian pours a load of freshly roasted coffee beans from the roasting machine. He explains to us: “Now the beans cool down for 8-12 hours. That way, the aroma unfolds best. Then I can grind and package them.” We quickly take a group photo, then Sopian hurries off to prepare the next load of coffee beans for roasting.