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Working hand in hand with local people is a crucial part of the BOS Foundation’s efforts towards reaching our goal of orangutan and habitat conservation. Within the Mawas area, and through the Mawas Conservation Program, the BOS Foundation works together with local communities to protect wild orangutan and their rainforest habitat. We believe that building and maintaining good relations with local people underpins the success of conservation efforts and we implement various environmentally sustainable natural resource income generating programs to benefit local people, which includes a Micro Finance Project.

From People to People
Since early 2011, and in collaboration with BOS Switzerland, the Mawas Program developed Micro Finance initiatives in two villages: Timpah and Batampang. In Timpah village, which is part of Mawas Program working area, the Mawas Program is further developing and supporting an existing Micro Finance program to help increase the local people’s income.

The Savings and Loans System in Timpah village was originally established by Midel A. Tarung, a resident and school superintendent in the Sub-district of Timpah, in 1992. Inspired to develop the economy of his village and following training in Bandung, West Java, Midel developed a Savings and Loans System with a capital injection from the Department of Education and Culture in Kapuas District. Initially the members of the system consisted of teachers in Timpah village, but over the years, the group numbers and diversity of members have increased.

Based on his experience and success in developing the first Savings and Loans System, the Mawas Program appointed Midel as the village facilitator to further develop the microcredit system for the entire community in Timpa village.

Using the Savings and Loans System, the community group members are able to receive a loan with low interest rates to develop their business and increase their economy levels. Each repayment and savings from the members are returned back to the fund and re-allocated as a loan for other members in need. This enables the funds to be continously rotating and fully optimised by the members.

Empowering Women
The women of Timpah village hold important roles in supporting their families. There jobs vary from trading to tapping rubber. The existence of the Savings and Loans System significantly assists their capacity to increase their income.

Community’s business activities

Members of Tempun Tiawon, Midel (white shirt), with Elisabeth Labes from BOS Swiss, and Baba S. Barkah from BOS Foundation

Members meeting

Adopting the Savings and Loans System developed earlier by Midel, the women in Timpah have developed their own system, Tempun Tiawon. The name Tempun Tiawon derived from Dayak language used in Timpah, which means “Angels from the Sky”. It represents their vision that the system is an angel and a gift who can help, especially the female members, in supporting their families for a better life.

There are three female business groups in the Tempun Tiawon Savings and Loans System, and each is comprised of ten members. Each member runs their own small business such as cake sales, vegetables and clothes trading, small shops, and rubber tapping. The businesses are run by and for the female members, who all work together in running the management and administration of the groups. As of today, all the groups have established statutes (Anggaran Dasar) and bylaws (Anggaran Rumah Tangga).

Simple and Beneficial
The Savings and Loans System has proven extremely beneficial to the community in supporting their daily lives and increasing their income. The simple process to apply for and receive loans without collateral facilitates the members who are mostly from low income families, in optimising the benefit of the system. Despite the limits on the maximum loan amount available, the funds are helpful and can be used flexibly, for example to inject business capital, assist daily needs, or childrens education.

Indirectly, as the system is developed by and for the community, the Savings and Loans System has increased trust, togetherness, harmony, and the values of dialogue and communications among the community members. Economic independency has also increased as the community are no longer trapped in the vicious cycle created by loansharks.
With the support of Mawas Program, hopefully the Savings and Loans System will continue to develop and flourish to assist more of Timpah community members in need.

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