Stories of empowerment from around the world
23 Nov 23
Thanks to people like you, we are able to make a tangible difference in the lives of vulnerable people around the world. Here are some stories of how economic empowerment is changing lives.
When her husband unexpectantly passed away, Sita struggled to provide for her four children and was shunned and isolated by her community.
Her wage as a labourer barely covered the cost of day-to-day expenses, and she feared she would be unable to further her children's education, leaving them vulnerable to the same poverty and discrimination she was experiencing.
Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Sita was able to join the Nepal Livelihoods and Resilience Program, run in partnership with Caritas Nepal. Through this program, she participated in agricultural training and gained access to a low interest loan to purchase dairy cows.
Over time, she began to develop the life-changing skills she needed to diversify her income, through the sale of milk and other goods, and gain financial independence.
Tarsini is a rice farmer, who was struggling to make a living in a rural village in Indonesia. With her husband in irregular work and a weak local economy, the couple’s financial future was uncertain, and they were forced to take out loans to cover their daily living expenses. This made them vulnerable to high interest and debt - and they experienced periods of extreme poverty.
Tarsini joined a savings and loans group, facilitated by Caritas Australia and its local partner, Laz Harfa. Here, she participated in financial literacy, accounting and entrepreneurial skills training - invaluable skills in gaining financial stability and independence.
The impact on Tarsini and her family has been profound. Today, Tarsini is debt-free. She runs her own thriving business and is also teaching financial management to other women in her community.
After her father died, Rachel had to stop going to school. Despite being the eldest in her family, due to the gender inequality deeply rooted in her society, her mother preferred to send her sons to school. Rachel instead was tasked with caring for her siblings, which is a testament to the deeply ingrained poverty and inequality she was facing.
Rachel later became pregnant and was forced to live with her partner’s family, who made her live in a small, dilapidated kitchen outside the house. Despite being pregnant, she was only allowed one small meal a day.
With the support of our partner Caritas Goma, Rachel was able to participate in a youth vocational training program. Rachel learnt about entrepreneurship and business creation, management of income-generating activities and financial education. Her trainer says that Rachel is one of the most courageous learners, and always punctual and diligent.
Through the program, Rachel learnt how to sew and is now earning an income as a seamstress. She is now a respected member of her family and community and is better able to support her baby when it arrives.
When you believe that you can’t contribute to your community or provide for your family, feelings of shame and inadequacy can be debilitating. Biru grew up living with a disability in a remote village in eastern India, with low expectations for his future. He had little self-confidence and was ashamed that he had to rely on looking after his neighbour’s cattle in exchange for food.
With your generous support, Biru was able to access an entrepreneurship and livelihoods development program, run by Caritas Australia’s partner, Caritas India. He gained the skills, support and encouragement he needed to establish his own bicycle repair business.
Now, Biru is able to provide a good life for his family – and an essential service to his community. He has discovered a sense of pride, confidence and hope which has inspired others living with a disability and paved the way for future generations.
Along with your generous support, these programs are also supported by the Australian Government, through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).