Microfinance is a tool to eradicate poverty. It is about giving poor, creative people access to small loans and financial services so that they can obtain a steady income and a secure future. Poor people have difficulties getting loans in normal banks. Microfinance deals with this problem. Through microfinance poor people get a chance to start or develop own ideas and businesses so that they are able to create a living. It may be a loan to buy a sewing machine that can provide an extra source of income, or money for a water pump that can water the fields in a more efficient way.
Traditional development assistance has often looked upon poor people as passive people in need of help. Microfinance, on the other hand, promotes poor people as resources. They are able and willing to do something with their lives if given the chance. Just because they are poor does not mean they are incapable. They simply need the opportunity to help themselves.
Microfinance turns traditional banking upside down. While normal banks usually lend money to rich men, it is the poor, women in particular, who are given loans through microfinance. And while normal banks demand security in for example property, microfinance is based on trust. Loans in normal banks require a lot of paper work – microfinance is available also for illiterate people.
Women, in many poor nations, are always in majority in poor groups. And in many places women are suppressed both socially and financially. At the same time we have seen that women often manage the income better for the family as a whole. For this reason, most of our microfinance projects are especially aimed at women.
Since 2009, GBN has been supporting a highly successful microfinance project with its contributing partners in Myanmar.
The focus of our microfinance program in Myanmar is on helping the ‘poorest of the poor’ in the agricultural communities through small loans. We have a particular focus on empowering the women and children.
The microfinance program has now reached over 2,000 beneficiaries in Myanmar.
Kadesi manages 9 high schools and 2 seminaries located in various parts of Indonesia. Its vision is to raise and train 10,000 bible teachers, pastors and evangelists and send them to 10,000 villages throughout Indonesia so that the gospel may be widely sown. To augment Kadesi’s funding requirements they have started Sengon tree plantation. This specie of soft wood tree is fast growing and matures in 5 years. Its wood is in high demand in the furniture industry. Kadesi’s plan is to have different plots of land to grow the Sengon trees, so that every year, they will have a plot that will be ready for harvest, and the proceeds from the sale of the wood will be able to fund their operational needs.
Kadesi Update – First harvest of Sengon Trees
Elsadai School, Batam
The Elsadai School in Batam was set up in 2005 as a national plus missions school, from playgroup, kindergarten and primary school up to high school 1 (7th grade). All subjects including mathematics and science are taught in English. The School has about 430 students comprising 50% non-believers. Its curriculum uniquely includes compulsory bible lessons which directly expose students and even parents to teachings about our Lord Jesus. Besides its distinctive outreach strategy, the School also gives a substantial part of its profit towards supporting a free bible school run by Promise Land Ministry which has to-date trained and sent out over 500 missionaries to various parts of Indonesia.
The school expanded its operations to do more for God’s Kingdom. It has purchased 3 more shop house units within close proximity to its present premises, and targets to increase its student enrollment to 600.
GBN has supported a community of 300 people (including 100 children) who live in a garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This community, called Doem Sleing, survives on collecting recyclable materials from the garbage dump. Community support was done in 3 ways:
a. Micro-funding to the adults who wish to start their own business,
b. Support to the Childcare Centre that serves the community, and
c. Food support to the children attending the community’s Childcare Centre.
Four Square Children of Promise (FCOP)
Four Square Children of Promise (FCOP) Cambodia is a holistic ministry seeking to bring spiritual, social and economic health to the nation it serves through healthy, Christ centered churches and orphan care homes. FCOP is the single largest orphan care provider in Cambodia with 106 church orphan homes currently caring for more than 3,000 orphans, separated children and widows. To date FCOP has established 3,262 churches throughout Cambodia.
Currently, more than 60% of its annual funding requirements comes from donations, particularly from the USA. With the economic crisis affecting the ability of Americans to give, FCOP is trying to be self sufficient by increasing the output of its rice productions so that it will have more than sufficient production for its own consumption and is able to sell the surplus output to raise cash to subsidize its operating costs.
GBN’s support to FCOP to enable it to:
1. Acquire certain strategic plots of land around its existing rice plantations so as to create a contiguous farmland. This will allow FCOP to build dykes around the farm plots to: (a) enable the use of commercial farming equipment (eg combine harvester) to improve productivity, and (b) improve water management – keep water out during the monsoon season from Aug – Dec, and in future, and keep water in during the dry season from Jan – Apr. This will automatically increase their output from 1 crop per year to 2 – 3 crops per year;
2. Purchase used farm equipment from the USA to build the dykes; and
3. Repair existing equipment to maintain the farm lands.
Khmer Christian Church/Glory Printing House
Khmer Christian Church (KCC) is a church planting organization based in Phnom Phenh, Cambodia, where it also has a local church. Like many church organizations in third world countries, it is not self- funding. To provide a constant source of funding , Senior Paster Rev Nhean Sam Ath and his wife Vanvina (a trained medical doctor) established Glory Printing House (GPH) – an offset printing company in 2011. Most of the net earnings of GPH is channelled towards supporting the activities of KCC. The mission of KCC is to plant more churches in the Komgpong Speu Province, which is one of the poorest province in Cambodia. To fund this growth, GBN supported GPH in the expansion of its business by acquiring more equipment, such as a A1 size 2-colour printer, cutting and lamination machines, as well as a electric generator to power the equipment during the frequent power outages in Cambodia. The increased capacity will generate additional funds for KCC’s Kingdom Expansion Plan (KIP) which is to plant 10 new churches, train 45 new church leaders and establish a training centre for church leaders. Another creative solution to fund church growth – not by giving them the fish but rather teaching them how to fish.
Project INK concerns a privately held commercial offset printing company with the only official licence to print bible and other Christian materials. As part of their outreach, they print hundreds of thousands of Kingdom flyers in the local language and distribute them FOC. GBN supported the purchase of additional offset printing equipment pictured above. The Kingdom Impact Plan of the company is to set aside 10% of net earnings to support:
- 2 Christian children homes
- 2 churches in Mekong region
- 5 Missionaries
- Planting a new church in capital city