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Improving Children’s Thinking Capability Through Reading

December 23rd, 2016

On Friday, December 23rd, 2016, our Community Development (“Comdev”) programme held a seminar with the theme “Boosting Reading Interest in Children”. It took place at Titian’s Community Learning Centre (“CLC”) in Bayat. The idea behind this seminar is based on our observation that school-age children who frequently visit CLC, are more interested in playing with their smart phone than reading books. Furthermore, the style of language spoken by primary school-age children are not appropriate for their age. After further probing, it turned out that the children absorbed these age-inappropriate vocabularies from telenovelas shown on television. This situation can reduce the effectiveness of the various initiatives made by Titian CLC in improving the quality of life through education.

Dwi Budiyanto, Lecturer from the Faculty of Language and Art, State University of Yogyakarta, served as our speaker for this seminar. Pak Budi – as he is known – explained that the issue raised by Titian is strongly correlated with the role of parents as role models for their children. Parents’ parenting style has a profound influence on their children’s behavior. Parents are expected to be able to foster thinking capabilities in their children. Non-educational television shows should not replace parents’ role in character building, upbringing or instilling good habits in their children. Likewise, the ease of data access through smart phones is all the more reason for parents to provide guidance and avoid their children getting inappropriate information from the virtual world. As such, it calls for creativity from both parents and teachers to come up with ways to distract children from television and smart phones and encourage them to read books instead.

Boosting Reading Interest in Children

Pak Budi further explained that loving to read is different from an ability to read. “You must be a parent or teacher who loves to read before you can stimulate the child to love to read”, he said. An ability to read is the result of a learning process and can be trained gradually in children. Reading stories to the child can be initial step to encourage a reading habit. More importantly, build up their curiosity and get their involvement in the reading process by asking questions; about their thoughts on the storyline or how the story might end. In this way, parents and teachers can make better use of the time they spend with the children.

Titian CLC in Bayat will add a special programme in 2017. This will involve mentoring parents and children to improve their interest in reading via a Children’s Reading Club, or to groups of parents when they visit the CLC with their children. (FD)

Cultural Art Festival

December 22nd, 2016

In our effort to preserve local ingenuity in batik and ceramics, as well as filling the school holidays with positive activities, Titian’s Community Development (“Comdev”) programme organized a Cultural Art Festival from December 19th to 22nd, 2016, which took place at our Community Learning Centre (“CLC”) in Bayat. The first day of the festival included a batik painting and ceramics contest for children of primary school age. Similar contests for junior and senior high school students were conducted the next day. As for adults, there was a Javanese art of singing and poetry competition – locally known as “macapat” – for teachers from schools around the CLC. In addition, students from the CLC’s other Comdev courses, such as sewing and computer were also given a chance to demonstrate what they have learned.

Cultural Art Festival

The highlight of the festival was held on Thursday, December 22nd, 2016. It is the announcement day of the winners of each of the contests. Students from CLC’s dance class performed “Rampak” and Happy dance, adding to the day’s festivity. There was also a performance by CLC’s guitar class teacher, who is also a Titian scholarship beneficiary from Generation 7.

It was a jubilant day with more than 200 visitors, consisting of contestants, accompanying teachers, and the community surrounding Titian CLC. Faces of the contestants and door prize winners were full of excitement. This event closed with a food fair serving favorite village snacks such as mung bean porridge, fish dumpling “siomay” and traditional ice cream “es puter” made by Titian’s Micro Finance members. (FD)

Get Ready for… LIFE!

November 13th, 2016

Most of Titian scholarship alumni who have graduated or are close to graduating from university are now anxious at the prospect of getting good jobs. The interview session, particularly, can be an uneasy experience especially for novices.

While a good GPA can open doors, but it does not warranty a successful interview if the person does not have a matching capability in communication. A study shows that words still count for the highest percentage in our communication at 55%, physiology comes second at 38% and tonality a mere 7%. However, in order to be a successful communicator, one must also be able to adapt to various people, cultures and situations.

John Hills Workshop

The seminar by John Hills started by peeling off what lies beneath our thoughts and reactions – conscious vs unconscious thoughts, prejudices and cultures. These were certainly new concepts to our participants to grasp. They were shown various images and were asked their impression of those images. Why do they have different reactions to different pictures?

Why do we need to be aware of these things? Simply because 95% of our daily physical activities are governed by unconscious thoughts and whilst most of what is in our unconscious is beneficial for us to live more efficiently, it can also result in inconsistencies with who we want to be.

With this new knowledge in hand, Titian hopes that our scholarship alumni will be better equipped when entering groups, whether in the work place or social settings.

(John Hills is currently working on a masters program at INSEAD in Singapore. He spent 33 years as a commercial banker, primarily selling wholesale banking services to commercial banks in SE Asia. His other areas of specialty include: Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering, Foreign Exchange & Treasury, and Sales Training.)

Laurie Young First-Time Visit to Titian

November 12th, 2016

In November Titian Foundation (“Titian”) had the pleasure of hosting CLSA’s Managing Director – Organizational Development, Laurie Young’s long-awaited first visit to Titian’s CLC in Bayat, Klaten.

CLSA – the largest independent stockbroker in Asia – is like a godfather to our scholarship recipients. Its Country Head at the time, Nick Cashmore, witnessed the destructive aftermath of the powerful earthquake in Central Java in 2006. Concerned with the future of children in the stricken village of Bayat, Nick initiated Titian’s scholarship programme in to put the youngsters back to school, enabling them to get high school diplomas. Since 2008, CLSA sponsorship has helped more than 300 students and is still the biggest donor for our scholarship programme.

Laurie Young

Laurie also brought his wife, Chris, on this trip. The couple sat down with scholarship alumni from earlier batches funded by CLSA. Most of them have graduated or are close to graduating from university. Looking back at where these children came from, they themselves have been astonish by their own achievements. The scholarship paved their way to dream bigger and better goals in life.

“It’s important to keep dreaming about what you want to do, because when you stop dreaming, you stop living.” said Laurie.

Laurie and Chris also made time to visit the home of two of our scholarship recipients to get a glimpse of the living conditions of the children that Titian supports. Titian appreciates and encourages such close engagement with the donors of our programmes and looks forward to their repeat visits.

Scholarship Orientation Period of Generation 9

August 21st, 2016

After successfully being selected as Titian Foundation (“Titian”) scholarship recipients, students still have to go through a series of activities before fully becoming part of the Titian family.

The Scholarship Orientation Period or Masa Orientasi Beasiswa – “MOB”, is an activity to fully introduce Titian and gives an overview of the assistance that the recipients will receive in the course of the three years of their scholarship. MOB for Generation 9, the most recent batch of scholarship recipients, was held on August 21st at Titian CLC in Bayat.

Being a recipient of the Titian scholarship, is different from other scholarships. In addition to covering their school fees, the scholarship recipients also get assistance in character building. It is purposely programmed so that Titian scholarship recipients are not only good at academic subjects, but also possess good social skills.

Organized by 24 students from Generation 8, the activities were very exciting. Starting with dancing together as an ice-breaker, students were then introduced to Titian’s staff. The new batch were told about Titian’s history and the programmes it runs. Generation 9 students were also given an explanation of activities they would be participating in during the 3 years of their scholarship. The event continued with quizzes, games and what became the highlight of the day, a group art performances. The objective was to encourage Generation 9 students to dare to be creative and confident. There were also plays, singing and poetry. This event closed with an art performance by the committee. All participants, committee members and mentors looked very happy and it was clear that all had very much enjoyed the activities. (WA/FD)

Titian to Mentor a New Batch of 73 Scholarship Beneficiaries

July 24th, 2016

Scholarship Batch 9

Titian Foundation (“Titian”) grants yet another 73 scholarships for students to continue their education in high school or vocational school starting this academic year 2016/2017.

Each year Titian receives around 400 applications for the scholarship. The process of selecting this year’s batch – Generation 9 – started as early as January 2016. The process involves shortlisting application forms, conducting two phases of interviews with the candidates as well as home visits, are part of this arduous selection process to ensure scholarships are bestowed to the most deserving students.

Titian has been granting scholarships since 2008, giving a chance to more than 700 students to complete their high school diploma. Titian scholarship doesn’t just cover school fees but beneficiaries also get life-skills through scheduled mentoring, capacity building and take part in volunteering activities.

As such, at the start of each academic year, parents of the scholarship recipients have to sign MoU in order to reinforce their commitment to support their children in following Titian’s terms and conditions.

(To find out more on how your sponsorship can change a student’s life, please watch our scholarship testimonials on our YouTube channel)

Routine Meeting and Eid-Al-Fitr gathering of Micro Finance

July 21st, 2016

On July 21st, 2016, Titian’s Community Learning Centre (“CLC”) in Bayat held an Eid-Al-Fitr gathering (popularly known as ‘Halal bi Halal’) with the members of the Micro Finance programme, which was also part of their routine gathering. The Micro Finance programme is a joint venture between Titian Foundation (“Titian”), Bank Panin Syariah and BMT Bina Ihsanul Fikri (BMT BIF).

This programme is designed for parents of Titian Scholarship recipients who run businesses. To date it has 29 members. Attending this Halal bi Halal were the active members and 15 candidates for membership, parents from Generation 8 scholarship recipients. This gathering aimed to strengthen the relationship between mentors, members and lenders. During this gathering many of our past members who are no longer taking up loans, were there too. The session emphasised the importance of building good cooperation between members and allowed them to share with others their success stories about running their businesses.

The Micro Finance programme addresses the challenges that ensnare the neighborhood of Bayat – particularly loan sharks. To achieve this, it provides members with assistance and guidance on simple financial and business management as well as access to finance. The programme also strongly advocates that members implement sound financial management; the ability to differentiate between wants and needs, and building the habit of including their family in managing future needs. (IK/FD)

IKATIFO Eid-al-Fitr Gathering 2016

July 10th, 2016

This year is the fourth year IKATIFO (Titian Foundation Alumni Association) had its grand reunion which usually coincides with the Eid-al-Fitr celebration. Around 130 alumni from Generation 1 to 6 attended the reunion on Sunday, July 10th, 2016 at the Titian Foundation CLC in Bayat. Aside from the alumni, the active scholarship beneficiaries and Titian Foundation (“Titian”) mentors also attended. The event serves as a way to reconnect the alumni who are now already working or studying at university or college and a meet and greet session for the Titian scholarship programme family.

The alumni were greeted with religious music that has been prepared by the event committee. The committee then showed the activity videos of the active scholarship beneficiaries. The place was soon swept by laughter that afternoon as the alumni reminisced about their time spent together and remembering their own innocence at that time. Watching those videos reinforced the bond between the alumni, that although they have already ‘graduated’ from Titian they feel they are part of another family – Titian family. Some of the alumni also took part in the entertainment and music performance.


Unfortunately, Titian’s Founder Lily Kasoem was not able to attend the reunion this year as she was overseas at the time of the event. In her absence, a note was read by Titian’s Programme Manager, Febriana Dwiyanti. In her message, Ibu Lily set a big “homework” challenge for the Titian alumni – as Bayat’s sons and daughters – they should carry on Titian’s work in fostering children’s education, specifically in Bayat. This year’s reunion also differed a little from previous ones. This year’s election of the chairman position of IKATIFO for the period 2106/2017 was nominated by the alumni, whereas before the chairman had been elected by the residing committee.

The election for Chairman was done through voting by the attending alumni, who elected Dwi Santoso from Generation 5 as Chairperson. The afternoon gathering was closed with a handshake session and group photos. (LA)

Titian Pilot Project Kicks Off with WOM Finance

June 21st, 2016

Titian Foundation together with PT Wahana Ottomitra Multiartha, Tbk (“WOM Finance”) held a kick-off event on June 21st, 2016 to start off a one-year pilot project on start-ups.

The beneficiaries of this start-ups project will be the alumni of Titian’s scholarship programme who have already finished or are close to finishing their tertiary studies in universities/colleges and have already embarked on entrepreneurial activities such as producing crafts and artworks.

WOM Finance

WOM Finance shares the same understanding in terms of community development as Titian. In his opening remarks, WOM Finance Director Mr. Zacharia Susantadriredja said both parties recognize the basic need of rural communities is to increase their earning capacity so they can achieve better living conditions.

The project will not only give access to capital to these young entrepreneurs but they will also be equipped with financial knowledge. Workshops on finance are embedded in this project, including financial literacy for both start-up candidates and their families. To sustain these start-up companies, more focused workshops such as business planning and start-up entrepreneurship will also be conducted. With these provisions, the start-ups can invigorate their current products, build their capacity to weather competition and have sustainable business ventures which will benefit their surrounding communities.

Titian Scholarship Students Participate in Microsoft YouthSpark

June 14th, 2016

Microsoft YouthSpark

From November 2015 until June 2016 Titian Foundation (“Titian”) scholarship programme had the opportunity to participate in a series of events called Microsoft YouthSpark. These events are the result of a cooperation between Microsoft Indonesia, the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of University of Gadjah Mada (UGM FISIPOL), Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC), and Loving the Nation’s Children Foundation (Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa – “YCAB”). The specific objective of Microsoft YouthSpark is to attract the interest of youngsters to computer science by introducing them to basic programming.

Microsoft was hands-on when teaching about creating applications for educational games – which will hopefully change the perception in society that programming (coding) is a very difficult task. This was also reinforced by the MC who frequently made the participants shout the boisterous cheer “Coding … is no headache. ”

Titian scholarship programme sent 30 students to take part in this training and educational game application contest. Out of 250 participants who signed up to the competition, Titian students made the cut to the Top 60. After going through the perfecting phase of the game in July, Titian ‘The Malware’ team which consists of Guntoro, Andika and Bhimo (Gen 7) successfully passed as Top 10 finalists. With very limited preparation time, The Malware team managed to showcase their work at the exhibition which also served as the final judging day on June 14th.

At the end of the contest, The Malware team were pleased to be among the Top 10 finalists. They were rightly proud and grateful for the valuable opportunity to participate in this contest. “Surely there are lessons from this defeat. Through this contest, I come to realize my own capability and it motivates me to study harder and think more creatively”, said Guntoro. (FD)