Nov 1999
Written by Visna Vulovik | Translated by Utari Widura

Parung-wahidinstitute.org | In less than one semester, microfinance cooperation between the Wahid Institute and Amartha has received positive responses from residents in Parung, Bogor. Currently the microfinance, which was launched on May 31, 2013 has recorded 51 people joining in groups named Cenderawasih, Dolphins, and Carrot.


“The presence of microfinance really helps my family’s economy. Because there is a compulsory saving, if I don’t have money to pay an installment, I can easily withdraw to pay the installment from my saving account. Alhamdulillah, through borrowing from microfinance, my capital has increased starting from the first funding until now. My trading business has gained profit,” Ms. Sutini said, a member of microfinance who applied to start her business in selling jamu (Indonesian herbal drinks).


According to the Microfinance Program Coordinator, Visna Vulovik, the purpose of this microfinance is to empower the poor and the unfortunate as well as to foster values of tolerance and harmony in society.


“Therefore the aims of member grouping are to create network among members and also to serve as a medium of communication among different communities. We emphasize the diversity in each group by assuring that the members are from different background of religion, ethnic group, and region,” Visna added.


According to Ms. Hayati, the existence of microfinance gives enough positive impacts to her. Besides aiding his her economic problem, she becomes close with her neighbors. “I was not close with my neighbors before, but since I joined microfinance, I get along with my neighbors very well because we often meet each other,” the woman who applied for clothing business explained.


The same case expressed by Ms. Aam. She said microfinance is very helpful. If it had not been helpful, she would have been indebted and resigned from membership. In microfinance, the capital can accumulate and she is now able to save some money. In addition, according to her, the presence of microfinance has become a medium of hospitality among residents.


Visna mentioned that microfinance initiated by the Wahid Institute would expand to other regions and on a national scale in the near future. Through this economic empowerment and microfinance, the values of togetherness and respect towards pluralism can be vastly improved. (VV)