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.
- The microfinance branch office in East Sumba supported by UnitingWorld is now operating sustainably and provides loans and business training across three sub-districts.
- Administration staff have been trained on how to operate the information system which captures loan and savings information.
- There are 1,118 active loan clients (205 individual clients and 913 group clients). 4,472 clients’ family members are indirectly benefiting from the project.
- 54% of the total active loan clients are women. This is an exciting statistic! Although women have traditionally faced discrimination in home and community life, many are now taking an active role in supporting their families and developing businesses.