Because of its valley location, Rano, which is in South Sulawesi, Indonesia has temperatures that are hotter than other Tanja Toraja villages. This location means families there experience harsher drought most of the year when it doesn’t rain in the area. Harsher still are landslides that come along with the rains. In late 2016, deadly landslides hit Rano and devastated the village. CWS responded immediately with an Indonesia partner to help families cope. In time, work to improve their resilience in the face of future risk and harm came to Rano through the Disaster Risk Reduction through Enhanced Adaptive Measures (DREAM) initiative.
And, thanks to Elsi Bura Tasik, whose family was harmed in the 2016 landslide, DREAM is being well led on several fronts. As soon as she could in late 2016, Elsi decided to learn more about what she could do to protect her family and her neighbors against future harm. “I didn’t want to sit by and wait for the next disaster [to devastate us again]”, Elsi said. And, true to her own wishes, she worked hard to help DREAM succeed.
The way that Elsi has led most recently is through the Larasati Savings and Loan group. In no small part, it is from Elsi’s leadership and persistence in motivating her group’s members that, in just one year, their capital has reached 3,000,000 Rupiah ($200), which is about one-third the average annual income for these women’s families. “All of the women in the group inspire and lift up each other”, said Elsi, who is proud of her group’s success – as CWS DREAM team members are proud and inspired by her.
Women’s groups to support savings and microloans are a DREAM innovation because the groups help families build economic resilience, which is core to all disaster coping and recovery. A key aim of the savings and loan initiative is to help women diversify family income beyond their husbands’ farm labor income by starting or expanding home-based businesses.
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