In cooperation with the regional women’s organisation PPSW Pasoendan, we are helping underprivileged women to organize themselves and to work on financial independence. They learn to save and set up a budget, how to turn ideas into action and how to set up small businesses by means of a micro credit. PPSW’s local field workers guide them in this process.
Currently we have set up eight groups in which women learn how to save and manage their money to put a halt on the endless stream of debts. The group members choose their own board which receives extra training. Then the most enterprising women are guided in setting up their own businesses. These eight groups already have 438 members, of which 45% works as casual labourer. 39 small businesses have either been set up or expanded by using micro credits. The return payments are on schedule with a few exceptions due to crop failures or illness. In addition, the groups offer savings plans to men and children who would also like to safely store their money. Next to saving and investing, the groups also function as a forum for the members to exchange information and discuss recent developments in the village, such as the distribution of government subsidies.
Our main financial supporters for this project are Zonta aan de Leede, the Jephcott Charitable Trust, Soroptimistclub Merwekring, Cordaid, Leiden Municipality and (very) generous individual donors, including gifts from employee voluntary schemes of Quintant, the ABN AMRO Foundation and Janssen Biologics.