West Timor Economic Empowerment
Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in West Timor is the poorest province in Indonesia. Government estimates indicate that 80 per cent of households in NTT have an income of less that two dollars a say. Additionally, 84 per cent of the population lives in rural areas where infrastructure, transport, and utilities are limited. Almost 60 per cent of the population has only basic education, and 17 percent are unable to read and write.
The economic empowerment program is run in partnership with the aid and development arm of the Evangelical Christian Church in Timor, Tanaoba Lais Manekat Foundation (TLM). Economic and social transformation of families and communities is enabled through the provision of small loans, known as “microfinance” for practical, income generating projects.
Several types of projects are available to clients, including animal fattening, small business expansion, and farming.
From 2006 to 2009, over 3000 loans were issued from the Betun branch of TLM, benefiting over 15 000 individuals. By 2012, an additional 1200 clients were be introduced to the loan program and vital infrastructure upgraded.
TLM has asked Uniting World to assist them in funding a new branch on the island of Sumba, with preparations for the branch already underway. They hope to be serving around 1400 new clients from the East Sumba branch within two years of opening. This means almost 6000 people will benefit.