Here at UnitingWorld, we believe the most effective way to help people overcome poverty for good is sustainable development in partnership with local communities.
Our partner church’s project to end poverty in rural Bali is a great example of the lives that we can change, and how by working together we make a bigger impact to end poverty.
It’s a program that helped thousands of families keep their heads above water during the pandemic and that is now helping people like Komang, his wife, Desak, and their three children escape intergenerational poverty.
Komang comes from a low-caste farming family. Growing up far from the tourist circuit and its employment opportunities, he never had the chance to pursue an education but was fortunate to secure a job as a driver for the provincial government.
When his father died of COVID-19, he had to leave his job to look after his elderly mother at home (pictured). He worked as a day labourer for fishermen nearby and tried building back the family vegetable farm, hoping to make a life of it. He worked hard to provide for his family and hoped to give them opportunities he didn’t have.
But in the quiet village economy, Komang was only just managing to make ends meet. When the economic downturn hit, he started to despair that he wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for his children to go to school or have proper health care.
He couldn’t see it, but a whole network of people was working together and was ready to help him find a path to a more secure, hopeful future.
Komang heard about the Maha Bhoga Marga Foundation (MBM), the development agency of our partner, the Protestant Church in Bali, from the elders of his village who were hosting a meeting to connect the community with MBM staff.
“We received information from the village that there would be a visit from MBM, who could help with our low income,” said Komang. “So, we attended a meeting together with twelve other families from our community. They listened to our struggles with the economy, job-losses, high cost of living… and explained how they can help.”
Komang told them his biggest challenges were learning how to grow a new business and finding money to start. Our partners said they could help with both.
UnitingWorld supporters helped resource our partners to provide Komang with technical help to launch a chicken-breeding venture and cash to buy the things he needed to get started.
Working hard to make the most of the opportunity, Komang turned 100 chickens into a thriving small business! He can now afford to send his children to school and buy the essentials they need.
“The dream that I have always hoped for is that our family can change for the better, to do more prosperous work so that we can have a decent life and without lacking anything.
The role of the MBM staff means a lot to our success. From the beginning until now, they accompanied us in providing help and and group training with others who were given the same support. This way we can each make improvements, sharing the experiences of raising chickens.”
We talk a lot about the importance of partnership at UnitingWorld, because we really do believe that when we work together — churches, local communities and leaders, people like Komang, and you and me— we unlock the most effective route out of poverty.
And when partnership is at its best, all parts are able to give and to receive and to celebrate the incomparable joy of each life made more abundant.
You can make a powerful impact this tax time
We’re fundraising to resource the critical work of our church partners in the Pacific, Asia and Africa; giving people the tools and opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty. We hope to raise $500,000 to continue this life-changing work.
Right now, your donation will be combined with funding from the Australian Government to make up to six times the impact ending poverty!
Find out more and donate at www.unitingworld.org.au/endpoverty