Living the Dream

CWS Indonesia | January 21, 2019

DREAM team member leading a financial literacy class for Mawar group members. Photo: CWS

Mawar savings and loan group formed as part of DREAM, which is a community development program led by CWS with funding from the Australian government though our partner, Act for Peace. The core focus in DREAM is disaster resilience, and one proven key to disaster resilience is economic security and resilience. So, the women who comprise the Mawar group are focusing first on economic resilience.

Lembang Burasia, where Mawar’s members live, is in an area prone to natural disasters like landslides and flooding. Also, it is quite underdeveloped economically with many subsistence farming families struggling to have dignified, sustainable livelihoods. So, this is one reason CWS has prioritize helping the Mawar group add a savings and lending to its operation to create self-sustaining group that can help ensure its members’ economic resilience in support of disaster resilience.

The original group’s success attracted the attention of other women in the village; and, from its start with 20 members, it has grown to 38. “We agreed to develop Mawar from a farmers group to savings and loan group in the hope that it will grow and improve,” Dorkas Buda, the chair of the group, explains. Mawar, which just started in November 2018 already has IDR 3,800,000 ($268) in capital and has made loans to two members. The group’s goal is to help members improve their livelihoods and, in turn, their families’ wellbeing. In explaining the group’s rules, Treasurer Suriyanti Makamban said, “We agreed 2% interest for loans and a minimum loan re-payment period of 5 months and a maximum of 12 months. Also, there is a fine of IDR 5,000 (35 cents) per month for late payment; and, we agree that use of regulations will help ensure trust in our organization.” To manage their loans, group leaders maintain a cash book, a members’ savings and loan book and a membership (identity) roster – each a key management tool shared by CWS staff who supported group start-up and transformation. “We put in all this effort to improve our group’s organization and independence; and, we hope that it will improve the welfare of the members, in turn,” added Dorkas. CWS DREAM team members are hopeful, too, and confident in Mawar’s likely success.

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