Ausaid Annual Report
2012–13

australian agency for international development
  • Supporting families to save mothers and children

Supporting families to save mothers and children

Increasing women's resilience to disasters, particularly by improving their financial and food security, is the key aim of AusAID's Supporting Families to Save Mothers and Children program.

This program supports 360 female-headed households in Flores, Indonesia. Delsos, a community development organisation, is implementing the initiative with support from Australia through the Australia–Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction.

Yuliana Kartini and Maria Rosalia live in Waimatan Village on Lembata Island. Their husbands work outside the province, leaving the women to raise their young children. "Our husbands still send us money occasionally, but it is far from enough, even just to feed our children," they say.

Yuliana and Maria have received training in disaster preparedness and gardening, learning many new skills including dry vegetable garden planting techniques and raising livestock. On return to their village and with Delsos' support and supervision, they have shared their knowledge with other women in the program.

"We are so proud to be members of the Delsos program in our village. Now we are less reliant on our parents' support. Now we are able to plant vegetables on our own, we can also take care of our livestock without help from our parents. We feel more independent now," they said.

Maria Jadah Hajon is another Delsos participant. Along with other women in Sinar Malaka Village, she has learnt to make cassava-based snacks she can sell in the market.

"The Delos program also introduced me to the loan system," Maria said. "I have borrowed 2 million Indonesian Rupiah ($210) which I have used to open a small shop in front of my house. The shop really helps me make ends meet."

Caption: School children celebrate the opening of their new school in Parung, near Jakarta, Indonesia

Credit: Syahreza Laksmana for AusAID