The level of poverty suffered by some in Indonesia is worse than any American could imagine. They suffer high rates of child malnutrition and maternal mortality. Inadequate access to education, clean water and sanitation is a persistent problem. Seventy percent of the population lives in rural areas and has little to no access to economic opportunity in urban areas. They are isolated from markets and financial assistance. In a country
where half of the people live just above the poverty line, young mothers hear their children cry from hunger, and they cannot help. They struggle for enough to keep going. One young mother named Novi has three little girls to feed, and her family's income is less than $120 a month. They didn't have enough to meet their basic needs. And the women in her culture cannot leave the home to work. Studies show that throwing money at poverty doesn't help, it only keeps families in a financial bind and prevents them from becoming self-sufficient. So with the help of our in-country partner, Novi and women like her started learning to sew, and are finding their own way out of poverty, one stitch at a time. Their sewing project is called Ayu, which means "beautiful" in Javanese.