NSW builders helping Indonesian businesses recover from COVID impacts

Last year a group of NSW G.J. Gardner Homes builders travelled to Indonesia and invested in local businesses through Opportunity International Australia’s microfinance programs to empower Indonesian families to break the cycle of poverty and build their communities. Now 12 months on and amidst a pandemic with significant economic impacts, the support of these microfinanciers could not be more welcome.

With help from investors such as G.J. Gardner Homes, and trusted local partners, Opportunity International provides small loans and financial training to individuals who are determined to leave poverty behind for good. Some spend their loans on a sewing machine or material to start a tailoring business, others on bulk goods which they resell for a profit, and others on animals, like chickens or cows, that can provide food items to sell. Once their business is up and running, these families pay back their loans, allowing Opportunity's partners to re-lend the same funds to other families in need.

“Because of the amazing footprint of our partners, we had a distribution network built into the everyday work of microfinance, health and safety. This network could get emergency support to those in need quicker than local government authorities. In addition, they were able to help millions of our clients learn about and access government stimulus payments,” shared a spokesperson from Opportunity.

CEO of G.J. Gardner Homes NSW/ACT and long-time supporter of Opportunity, Matt Hope presented the business case for Opportunity at the 2019 G.J. Gardner Homes NSW conference and encouraged the franchise partners to get involved.

“I truly believe in the power of the programs that Opportunity have in place, and it warms my heart that straight off the mark we were able to raise $50,000 to fund microloans for Opportunity International through the generous G.J. Gardner Homes NSW network,” said Matt Hope. “I’m passionate about supporting Opportunity and their 4 microfinance program partners in Indonesia that are currently empowering over 1 million clients and providing additional community development programs in poor communities. Together we’re making positive change.”

In addition to the funds raised, eight G.J. Gardner Homes NSW team members took part in an Insight Trip to Rote Island, Indonesia in November 2019, run by Opportunity, to see first-hand how small loans, alongside training and support, can help families living in poverty to transform their lives. Now as they reflect 12 months on and read the latest reports from Opportunity, the group of builders are so happy they’ve been able to support communities through the loans program, particularly during this challenging time with covid-19 causing issues across the globe.

https://opportunity.org.au/