Stories of Change

Emiliani and her daughter in their garden.

Flourishing vegetables, even in the dry season, in Indonesia

Emiliani, 44, lives with her family in Balombong village, Indonesia. Like most of her neighbors, Emiliani’s family relies on farming to earn a living. Increasingly, though, changing climates are affecting their harvests, and families like hers need to adapt.

CWS has a program called DREAM in this part of Indonesia. It stands for Disaster Risk Reduction through Enhanced Adaptive Measures, and it focuses on helping farming families build their resilience. The program is grounded on the idea that families who have economic stability are less vulnerable to bad harvests or other unforeseen challenges. 

Our team supports community savings groups, including the one that Emiliani joined in 2018. It’s called KSPP Anggrek, and it’s run by women in Balombong. These farmers each contribute to the group and then can take out loans to meet basic needs, expand businesses or otherwise work towards economic stability. CWS primarily works with these groups by providing workshops about group organizational and bookkeeping skills.

“I never miss a group meeting because the opportunity to learn new things is so great,” Emiliani says. “Not to mention the friendships that bloomed within our group. With each passing month we continue motivating each other to grow our incomes.”

Keeping in mind that most of the members of KSPP Anggrek make a living through family farming, our team also shares climate-adapted farming practices with the group. Emiliani learned how to make organic compost, fertilizers and pesticides, and she watched the vegetables in her garden flourish as a result. She was so encouraged by this that she decided to also plant during the dry season, which most families don’t do. Now, Emiliani can sell her vegetables in the market or share with neighbors year-round. She made $54 from her first dry season harvest, and the other members of KSPP Anggrek took note. Others are starting to follow her lead as they seek stability for their own families.