Rural Aussie women help out with Asia Pacific women’s livelihood


It’s hard to imagine how Bronwyn from Palmwoods, Queensland could support a woman struggling to survive in rural Nepal, but Bronwyn is part of a new wave of rural Australian women helping to provide funding and education to entrepreneurial women across the Asia Pacific.<!--more-->


[caption id="attachment_4055" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="A Tongan woman with a solar lamp. Good Return is already in Tonga and looking at expanding into other islands."]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-4055" title="Solar lamps in Tonga (2)" src="" alt="" width="200" height="300" /></a>[/caption]

The retired teacher in adult education is able to do this thanks to facilitation from the nonprofit Good Return. She provides a lifeline to 2 women in Nepal by funding their affordable loans and vital financial literacy education through Good Return’s online lending portal.

Good Return is now looking to expand its footprint into the Pacific Islands region. It is already working with rural women in Tonga.

Women make up over two-thirds of the world’s 796 million people who are illiterate, and many of them live in rural areas. Good Return’s model of microfinance plus education – easily fundable through their website – means rural Australia can make a direct and positive impact on the lives of rural women in the Asia Pacific region.

As the United Nations marked the International Day of Rural Women earlier this week on October 15, there has been a growing trend of rural women helping to fund education and small business loans for women living in remote communities in the Asia Pacific, with nearly 500 signing up to Good Return in the past two years.

Diane Bowles, Marketing and Fundraising Director at Good Return says, “Rural women understand how tough life can sometimes be, living away from the urban support structures that many of us take for granted.”

Good Return connects Australians to the working poor in the Asia Pacific who need small loans to start or grow a business. It combines microfinance and education to empower individuals and create long-term benefits.

Good Return is an initiative of World Education Australia, an AusAID accredited agency and at present works in Australia, the Philippines, Tonga, Nepal, Indonesia, and Cambodia.