September 18, 2008 — For the past three years, many women in Aceh have received microcredit loans and training through The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program. This microcredit project is helping Acehnese women rebuild their lives and communities following the devastating tsunami of December 2004. Many women were widowed by the tsunami and must now support their families. In a region where the average per capita income is less than $1 per day, these small loans help Acehnese women start businesses and generate more income.
United Way International has made a challenge grant to The Asia Foundation that will match every dollar we raise with two dollars for a total of $160,000, the amount needed to strengthen and expand the newly established women-led microcredit organizations. By providing management training, computers, and loan funds, the project will be able to make more and larger loans to poor women in seven districts in Aceh. Women in Aceh are very entrepreneurial. These loans will enable them to create and expand small businesses and home industries that will increase family income and pave the way for more rapid community development. Read more about The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Program.