The Generosity of a War Veteran


As the Founder of the Billions Rising Foundation, I want to take a moment here to honor my dear friend Jack Wilson who passed away back in 2011. Jack and I met back in the 1980s when we were both producing social-change documentaries to increase public awareness of issues and inequalities. We lost touch, but years later I discovered that his compassion for humanity had continued and that he had founded PPMK Jogia. an successful, grassroots non-profit for empowering women in the poorest regions of Indonesia.

Here’s how the PPMK website describes their origins:

“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 was 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.”

Jack took a large portion of his Veteran’s award money and began the microfinance and in-kind projects to help women build small businesses and support their families. Now, according to PPMK Director Sulastri Trimiharjo, they are able to deliver up to 30 small loans to women each month. These loans are almost always repaid in full as the women’s businesses thrive.

PPMK also offers health education and scholarship programs.. all aiming at assisting families to escape the cycle of poverty. For more information, Here is the link to PPMK Jogia’s website.

The world is a better place, thanks to one man’s generous heart.



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