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ROTA (Reach Out To Asia), a non-profit organization for education, regularly organizes volunteer assignments in developing countries in Asia, including Indonesia. This time ROTA sent 20 volunteers from Qatar University to do volunteer work in Bayat, Klaten, Central Java. Muhammadiyah Primary School (SD MPK) was chosen as the place for their activities. Titian Foundation (Titian) staff assisted ROTA in preparation, arranging activities, and coordinating between ROTA and SD MPK.
These volunteer activities were conducted on April 7th – 12th, 2018. Volunteers were divided into four groups and presented workshops on Arabic language, computers, environmental issues and some sports activities. Aside from classroom activities, the volunteers also did some renovation work. Volunteers repainted, organize books, and decorated the school’s library so that students can comfortably read in the library. In addition, the volunteers also helped renovate the school’s kitchen and donated sports equipment.
In between their jam-packed schedules, volunteers allocated some time to take wooden batik workshops and play with children at Titian’s CLC. On the last day, the volunteers held a community activity with the Women Farmers’ Group of Jarum Village. Not only did they make compost from organic materials, the volunteers also planted various kinds of vegetables, such as chili, mustard and tomatoes. (SSD)
Women all over the world including Indonesia picked-up the International Women’s Day (IWD) vibes, using their voices to speak out on a variety of issues, especially gender rights and equality.
To say that Titian scholarship recipients who are girls are aware of those struggles would be an understatement. Their circumstances epitomize these challenges and they strive to overcome them daily.
Three of our girl alumni spoke about their struggles as women from a remote village in front of Willis Towers Watson female employees. Most girls in their village are already happy with the little money they can earn after graduating high school. So, they have to make their voices heard if they want to pursue higher education. While most villagers are ignorant of well-educated girls, some indeed took the parents of these girls as role-models. Their families are then perceived more positively and will look up to our alumni parents as they are deemed successful in educating their children.
Our partner for the Scholarship Progamme in Tangsel, Soroptimist International of Jakarta (SIJ), also celebrated IWD with our scholarship recipients at CLC Tangsel. The scholarship recipients celebrated it by performing storytelling and speaking in English only on that day.
It all started of with a talk circulating among housewives who live near Titian’s CLC in South Tangerang (Titian Tangsel), aspiring something more in their lives beyond their mundane chores as housewives. They seem to have lost their own identity; they don’t know what they want, have little interaction with others, don’t know how to offer their opinion nor have confidence to speak in public.
Titian Tangsel and Soroptimist International of Jakarta (SIJ) saw this situation as an opportunity to contribute to the community and also pave the way for them to achieve their dreams by arranging a tie-dye workshop. We hoped this workshop could bring about a sense of independence and instill a stronger character for these women so they can become role models for their children and other women in their neighborhood.
The first tie-dye workshop was held at CLC Titian Tangsel on February 13th, 2018, where 20 women were jointly mentored by Titian Foundation and SIJ, facilitated by Ibu Tia and Ibu Juni who volunted as the workshop trainer. Ibu Juni is a women’s empowerment activist herself.
Six of the workshop participants took what they had just learned to another level by creating an entrepreneurial group. They named their group “Kartini”, and they will produce household products such as pouches, pillow cases, tissue pouches, bags, placemats etc. In addition, this group requested Ibu Tia mentor them, so that not only they learned about making tie-dye but also as individuals are equipped with character building so that their businesses have character too.
The struggle is real for these women. One of Kartini members, Ibu Inung, admits “At the beginning, I felt it was a heavy burden when everything had to be done on our own: managing the finances, looking for a market for our products, redoing faulty production, and to be disciplined on time keeping. But after three months, I see changes in me. I am starting to get the hang of it and slowly I can solve problems on my own.”
Kartini hopes what started off as a small venture can lead to something bigger and that their products will appeal to the market. (NF)