Indonesia is the largest island country in the world with more than 14,000 islands. It is also the world's most populous Muslim-majority country with over 250 million residents, including hundreds of ethnic groups and local languages. The number of people living in poverty in Indonesia is difficult to establish given that the Indonesian government has set the national absolute poverty line at approximately $25 per month which defines 28 million people as living below the poverty line. However if we apply the World Bank standard of approximately $38 per month an additional 5 million people or 33 million people are living below the poverty line.
While 69% of the population report saving in the last year, less than 50% of the population has access to banking services, and of the poorest 40% only 22% have a bank account. Statistics specific to people living at or below the poverty line are not available but would likely be considerably below 22%. These are Five Talents target clients.
Five Talents micro-enterprise development program in Indonesia seeks to empower the entrepreneurial disadvantaged poor to support themselves to have economically viable communities with Christian values.
A new foundation entitled GERHATI has been created to carry out this mission. GERHATI, an acronym in the local language for "Gateway of Hope for Human Transformation," was conceived and developed jointly by Five Talents, in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Singapore and the expatriate Anglican community of All Saints Church in Jakarta in 2002.
GERHATI began operations in May 2005 with an aim at transformational development for the poor of Jakarta through economic improvement opportunities, business skills training, health education, and spiritual development. The communities where GERHATI has a presence include very poor congregations of the Anglican Church in the Bekasi area of East Jakarta, but outreach also includes other needy members of the communities that surround the local churches. More than 90% of the members are Muslims.
GERHATI's program is unique to the Jakarta area because it is a transformational program. In addition to providing small business loans, GERHATI also offers business development training in the form of simple book keeping, marketing, and creating a business plan, product development, and promotion as well as basic skills training for members to either improve their current businesses or start a new business. GERHATI also provides specific skills training such as baking, cooking, or liquid soap making classes as well.
GERHATI Foundation offers two loan products to its clients. The first is the Trust Bank Loan Program. Loan sizes range from $53 to $214. The second loan product, Small Business Loan Program, is available to existing GERHATI clients who improve their business, are diligent in repayment, and finish the Trust Bank Loan Program. These loan sizes range from $267 to $535.
GERHATI also regularly partners with local doctors to set up temporary free health clinics for the poor in Bekasi and Cipayung.
Self development: marketing a business, money management, cooking lessons
Community services and development: building a clean, healthy, smart community
Spiritual development: morning devotions, weekly prayer and fasting
Healthy family card program: health knowledge via socialization
GERHATI, East Jakarta, Indonesia
All Saints Church in Jakarta, Anglican Diocese of Singapore
GERHATI Foundation operates in the Bekasi Area (West Java Province and Cipayung) in East Jakarta, Indonesia in a predominantly Muslim context. With a population of 2.5 million, it is in the East Regency of the capital. For several years, the project has maintained three core programs that provide financial support, training, and technical assistance to poor entrepreneurs.
The programs serve as an outreach tool to neighboring Muslim communities in order to build relationships in an often tense and hostile environment. In addition, the program provides much-needed jobs for Christians who sometimes face employment discrimination.The program focuses its efforts on two communities in Jakarta: Bekasi and Cipayung. The majority of the recipients are women at the lowest income levels. It provides the financial and technical assistance necessary to help participants maintain and develop their businesses.
The local church provides spiritual development, using Bible studies based on the parable of the talents. The hope is that the church will be seen as a light into the community, and that the micro-enterprise development program, through its outreach, will help the church to grow.
We'd appreciate your continued prayers for this transformative program. Please help us expand our work in Indonesia either by making a one-time donation or by signing up to "Walk with Us" as a recurring donor. A monthly gift of $50 will transform up to 25 lives.