The idea for PPMK (Empowering Women to Fight Poverty) began informally in 2002 when PPMK’s founder, Jack Wilson, attended an inspiring workshop conducted by Amanda Zinn, President of ‘Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore’. On Jack Wilson’s arrival back to Indonesia, he realized that we could do micro-finance here. Jack is a Vietnam Veteran & as luck would have it, about that time he got a generous ‘service related’ disability award from Veteran’s Administration. It was like ‘blood’ money, and it rapidly became clear to Jack that half of it should go to ending poverty which is a big part of the reason we have wars.
The Yogyakarta, Indonesia earthquake on May 27, 2006 acted as the unexpected catalyst for PPMK. This powerful quake proved disastrous to hundreds of thousands of Indonesians. It ultimately killed more than 6000 people and destroyed 200,000 homes. The area most devastated was Bantul Regency, just south of city center. Already a poor section of Yogyakarta, the earthquake wreaked havoc on this vulnerable region with a death toll of 3000 people.
Many of the people affected by this natural disaster were personally known to our PPMK founder. One such person, a hotel gardener named Muh (Muhammad), lost his wife and mother in the early morning collapse of their house in Bulus village, Bantul regency. Muh was left with two small children and without a bicycle (his only form of transportation), a house, or a salary.
In response to human tragedies such as this one, PPMK’s founder began formal relief operations on the day after the earthquake. He started by providing direct relief to Muh and his children by giving them a tarpaulin, food, blankets, clothes, a small amount of cash, a bicycle and a hug. On the next day, the relief effort was expanded to a full-scale operation as finances permitted.
Over the following year we began relief efforts and subsequently expanded our services to see the full picture of poverty. We became a legal NGO (LSM) in 2007 in name of PKWJ (Women Entrepreneurs of Yogyakarta) with a focus on children’s nutrition, providing free milk to poor children in villages.
In August 2009 PKWJ was ended in order to replace the director and to resolve other internal issues. In 12 September 2009, PPMK (Empowering Women to Fight Poverty) emerged as legal entity with Rachel Wohl as consultant and notaries deed of Reni Anggraiani, SH., M. Kn, and are registered in the secretariat Court of Yogyakarta with registration number: W13.41 / 255.LL/NK.00/XI/ 09, as a Nonprofit Organization.