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Empowering Village Community Economically

PESAT also develops village community by empowering them economically through micro credit, credit union, business assistance and practical life skills. This economic development program aims to raise up the dignity of village people through hard work, creativity and raising family income.

Since 1992 there are already hundreds of village families received aid in a form of small loans for small business, half of them have already run their business well, able to raise their income. The aid has empowered them in providing better economic support for their families. In some of its ministry regions, PESAT has established and facilitated self-help groups and credit union  
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Introducing Family Values
The rapid growth in big cities and the increased of economic pressure in villages have led to the growth rate of urbanization. Urbanization does not only cause the increased of criminality in cities but worse, families who are economically poor have lost their family values, thus new behavior, conscious and morality must be formed within the families.
Through the economic establishment based on village community that PESAT continually develops and lead to the renewal of family values for the village families.

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Enhanching

Helping Farmers

  The harvest is two months away, now is the time to add fertilizer, but fertilizer is rare and expensive, and to compound the problem the farmers have little or no money at all
   
 
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The scarcity and cost of fertilizers is caused by some people acting as a mob. The poor financial situation facing farmers has worsened their situation and meant that the local economy has dried up. Poor farmers area common sight in the villages in Pontianak Regency, West Kalimantan. And almost all these Dayak farmers borrow money from loan sharks who charge 50% in interest.

Ahmad Tabrani, PESAT’s Conducting Manager in West Kalimantan, has carried out an astute analysis of the root of the problem and came up with one solution that will have a positive impact on the farmers.

Offering Innovation
Ahmad went to places where the farmers usually gather such as small coffee shops, village halls, even rice fields. “Why don’t we form a group?” he suggested. It took six months for the idea to catch on.

Every harvest, each member has to save a minimum of 50 kg of rice, the rice will be collected and sold and the money is used to buy fertilizer at normal prices,” explained Ahmad. Members of the group will then buy the fertilizer from the group at normal prices. The fertilizer will be delivered to the farmer’s house and this will save up to Rp. 15,000,- in transportation costs per sack of fertilizer,” he continued.

Those who cannot buy fertilizer (because of famine) can borrow fertilizer from the group and they will be charged only 10% interest. The profit from the selling and interest charges make up the group’s profit which will be given back to the members in a SHU (profit share), as Ahmad explained.

 

Saaleatn Group Succeed

Nineteen farmers including the village chief agreed to what Ahmad had offered. They formed a group called Saaleatn which in Dayak means ‘working together’. Now they have spent two harvests together as a group. The impact? “Now we have savings and are not dependent on loan sharks anymore,” said one of the farmers. “We can finally pass a season without worrying about not having fertilizer,” added the village chief. “They’re now more organized because they’re in a group,” said a village farming counsel (PPL).


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Vision, Hope and Organic

Saalaetn group was formed without large capital expenses but could help and become a blessing to poor farmers. “I want churches and village pastors to see this and set it as an example so that churches can also become innovators in economic and community development,” Ahmad ended.
This group of farmers is only on sub-village level, in the future it will on village level. Ahmad has a vision to set up a cooperative institution for fertilizer and farming tools. He also intends to ask the farmers to use organic fertilizer that they can make themselves.
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