Penina, her husband Nicodaemus and their four children live in a one-room shack in a village in Soe, West Timor. There is no heating here. No sanitation, no technology, no transport. Their only clean water source is a well a one-hour walk away.
Outside Penina’s home is her garden, humble in size and sparse in plantings of corn and cassava. This garden is everything to her. Without it, their family would have nothing.
After Penina feeds her family, she sometimes has some excess vegetables she can sell to help them earn a small income, between Rp.100,000 (A$10) and Rp.200,000 (A$20) – a month. With these extra few dollars she buys rice and oil to provide her children with more nutrients, or clothing if she can.
Penina desperately wants her children to go to school, but in a battle between being fed and clothed or educated, school is what gets dropped when there is simply no money.
This is pure survival. And there is no other choice.
The thing is, you and I have a choice. We can choose whether or not we are going to make a difference – whether or not we will help families like Penina’s access the small loans they need to begin to leave poverty behind.
For Penina, this would mean buying seeds and tools to turn her small garden into a proper farm, earning them a regular income.
By helping families grow a small business, you can give children like Penina’s a whole new future.