Small Change Changes Lives!

CWS Indonesia | December 18, 2017

Selfiana. Photo: CWS

Selfiana Seu is a farmer and a Village Health Post volunteer, living with her husband, Philipus Boimau and their three children in Nekmese hamlet in West Timor. Selfiana sells her vegetable harvest weekly in a nearby village market and she also has a small business selling about 20 liters of bottled gasoline each day from her home. “I can earn between $20 and $40 each month from both activities together, but that’s just enough cover our daily expenses,” she explains.

A very active Nekmese community member, Selfiana is also a Village Health Post Volunteer, which has given her the opportunity to join CWS-supported Timor Zero Hunger activities for some time. In September, when a new opportunity was introduced in Nekmese, she and other mothers formed a savings and loan group through a new Berdaya (empowerment) initiative made possible by an investment from CWS global partner, Week of Compassion. “We have 28 members and we agreed that each of us would commit $4 as an initial savings amount, and that we would start lending to members right away,” Selfiana explained one day.

Seeing an opportunity to expand her home-based selling from just gasoline, Selfiana was among the first to borrow from the group; and with just $15 she added inventory: snacks, coffee and cooking oil to start. “I made $4 in profit and paid back my loan at the agreed 2% interest, within a month!” A second $15 loan in November allowed Selfiana to add pumpkin, onion, Chinese cabbage and eggplant seeds to her growing inventory, and then Selfiana and other savings group members decided to start a communal garden where they will plant more vegetables, both to sell and eat with their families. “Although our group has only been together for a few months, I and others have been able to expand business and save too. I hope we will continue to grow and eventually get support from the local government for additional capital, or at least tools for our communal garden,” Selfiana opined.

(For more information please contact mkoeniger@cwsglobal.org )

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