// July 10th, 2013 // No Comments » // Indonesia, Indonesia-Tanakeke-Batu Ampara, TCD, TCD Food, TCD Income, Uncategorized
Daeng Tola and Daeng Baji in front of their home in Batu Ampara,Tanakeke.
Tanakeke-Batu Ampara, Indonesia
From the desk of Phil, GHNI National Leader for Indonesia. Phil and his wife, Tiffany, are Americans dedicating their lives to the Indonesian people since 2010 and 2008 respectively—
“It was one of those nights that make us love what we do despite the many challenges. Sitting on Haji Ero’s front porch of his traditional Makassar wooden house, sipping on local tea that’s almost too sweet to drink and talking until midnight about things that really matter in life; this is when the conversations get really good. This is why we live in a third world country, eating less than desirable food and traveling on motorcycles to remote villages on roads that can hardly be called a road. On this particular night, we were sitting on Haji’s front porch, drinking our tea when Daeng Tola wandered over from the other side of the village and sat down with us.
“Daeng Tola and his wife Daeng Baji were one of the poorer families in Batu Ampara, living in an incredibly modest house built out of rattan and wood. For years, Daeng Tola had tried to support his family from his fish pond harvests, but it just wasn’t cutting it. Several times in the past year his family had gone for days without food, and he’d had enough. He finally took a risk that not many people in his village would be willing to take and went to the city looking for a job. He had found a job selling bakso (Indonesian meatballs), working for a man who had several bakso carts and several employees. For more than eight months he had learned the bakso business, earning enough money to support his family.
“Now, sitting on Haji’s front porch, Daeng Tola’s eyes gleamed as he told me the ins and outs of his job, how much he loved making his customers happy and how he loved cooking the most delicious bakso he could every day. He told me how he really loved his job, and how during the past fasting month he had earned almost $100 USD selling bakso. He was providing an income for his wife and small daughter and he was proud of it.
“As long as I live, I’ll never forget Daeng Tola’s next words,
‘My dream is to one day having my own bakso business just like my boss. Someday I’ll be able to earn enough money to buy my own motorcycle and my own basko cart and then I’ll be a real business man. I’ll make enough money so my family will never be poor again!’
“As Daeng Tola shared his dream with me, I couldn’t help but think about our micro-credit program we had started in the slum area of Camba Berua and what a success that was, helping 8 women start their own small businesses. ‘What if I told you that we have a micro-credit program available for entrepreneurs with great business ideas?’ Daeng Tola’s jaw almost dropped into his tea. I explained that if he put his ‘dream’ on paper in the form of a business plan, he could potentially qualify for one of our small business loans. We gave Daeng Tola a small business loan application and he almost ran home to talk to his wife about the new opportunity.
Daeng Tola’s customers can either buy “sticks” of bakso for about $0.05 a stick or they can get a bowl of bakso soup with noodles and an egg for about $0.25.
“Six weeks later, Daeng Tola’s business plan was approved for our micro-credit program, allowing for him to get a motorcycle, a small bakso cart and all the necessary materials to start a bakso business for under $700 USD. Because of Daeng Tola’s example, two other young guys have started their own successful bakso businesses through the micro-credit program as well.
“For the past two months, Daeng Tola has been incredibly successful in his bakso business, earning enough money for him and his family to have a home in the city and to pay back his micro-loan every month. Now every week, I get to sit on Daeng Tola’s front porch, drinking tea that’s almost too sweet to drink and talking about things that really matter in life.”