Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Aceh on the rise ...

Mother Nature is always quick to replace one natural devastation with another. And so we forget about the massive tragedies that have aleady passed from our consciousness.

Good thing institutions like the Red Cross and Grameen Bank don't forget, though. Their microfinance efforts in the northern Sumatra province, an area which was in danger of being completely wiped from the map in the tsuanmi of 2004, are helping families get back on their feet. In one Acehnese village alone, 90 women got loans from local partner Yamida to start bakeries, and buy oyster boats, and kick off countless other projects.

In total, more than 17,500 women in Aceh are able to earn a living thanks to the work of Grameen and the Red Cross. In times of life or death, political issues like Aceh's separatist movement or strident version of Islam take a back seat, and are replaced by simple images of people helping people.

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