Women changing lives

12 Jan 2017   |   Blog   |   Indonesia   |   Women   |   Long-term Development

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Reliyana and her friend Ida with their children

In Indonesia, we are helping women come together, to network and build their strengths. By raising their voices, women are creating new opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities.

In Indonesia’s Pandeglang and Lebak Regencies in Banten Province, women often work without pay, with no access to support and without a sustainable business model.

Caritas Australia partner, Pusat Pengembangan Sumberdaya Wanita (PPSW), supports over 272 women directly to develop and maintain businesses in rural communities and to start new lives for themselves.

Restoring dignity

PPSW provides women with vocational training and technical support for the start-up of small savings and loan groups. Through organising themselves into groups to save money, they are then able to access loans that help them start or grow their own businesses such as small-scale agriculture, animal rearing or food production.

Reliyana's story

In Reliyana’s village and surrounding areas, women are faced with a challenging level of isolation because of the vast distances that separate them.

The group empowers women in three different ways - economically, socially and politically."
Reliyana

Reliyana wanted to create an intimate space where women could gather to network and share resources - inspiring each other to make goals and move towards them.

After completing small business development, vocational skills training, and technical support training for the start-up of women's savings groups from PPSW, she started a women's group in 2015 called KWPS An-Nazwa. Together they are advocating for better lives for themselves and their families.

“It is a very good idea and encourages poor people to save small amounts and to use money cautiously in emergencies such as unexpected health problems and natural calamities," says Reliyana.

"The group empowers women in three different ways – economically, socially and politically."

As a businesswoman, Reliyana makes rice crackers, banana and potato chips to sell at the local market. As a community leader, she is bringing women together to form support groups that improve their lives. In challenging traditional roles for single mothers, Reliyana has become an inspiration to her community.

Learn more about Caritas Australia's work in Indonesia

This story appears in CaritasNews Summer 2016.


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