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Together We Can Be Better

April 26th, 2019

As has already been signaled earlier this year, Titian Foundation is planning to work in Lombok. Some work is already underway, such as taking applications for Titian’s high school scholarship programme in the village of Pemenang Barat, North Lombok as well as the subsequent selection process.

However, after further assessment, Titian found one Sasak tribe in the hamlet of Rembitan village, called Rebuk I, Central Lombok that is also worth receiving support. Rebuk I is situated just 500 meter from the popular tourist hamlet of Sade but the conditions in which they live are a far cry from that picturesque image.

Nearly half (49%) of the Pujut subdistrict population, where Rembitan village lies, are still in what’s known as the “prasejahtera” category, which means these families are not able to fulfill their basic needs, and 53% family head of households are not even elementary school graduates.

Access to water and proper sanitation is still a challenge in this hamlet. Families in Rebuk I can only bathe once a week and an open plant-walled bathroom without a sewer is still being used today. Provision of water and sanitation facilities will significantly improve their hygiene and therefore their overall health and well-being.

Opportunities for a significant results (outcome and impact) are enormous when this village is turned around. Already working hand-in-hand with Titian is Soroptimist International of Jakarta (SIJ) which undertakes water and sanitation programmes and women’s empowerment. SIJ has already pledged to sponsor the digging of water wells and the provision of a community restroom for each family in Rebuk I. Titian will take part in other Community Development (Comdev) Programmes, so that the improvement in standards of living will be enjoyed equally by all families in that hamlet.

The major occupation of the Rebuk I community is farming and most families in Rebuk I also own cows. Coupled with their innate knowledge of farming, Titian sees an opportunity for a biogas project. Titian sent four farmers for a permaculture course in Imogiri, Yogyakarta on March 16th to 29th so they can apply the patterns and resilient features observed on the course to their land, transforming its productivity by creating biogas and organic fertilizer.

One month after the permaculture course, one of the farmers, Lalu Talam, started redesigning his hamlet to integrate facilities for water, sanitation and biogas. He proudly showed it to Mrs. Isla Winarto of SIJ when she formally initiated the water and sanitation project on April 26th, 2019.

The government’s plan to build a MotoGP circuit in Mandalika, Rembitan will be bring more tourism opportunities and Titian intends to serve as a source of informal education and soft skills and make Rembitan as a flourishing hub for eco-tourism.

Literacy Movement Workshop for High School Students

March 23rd, 2019

Ever wonder why we are not so interested in reading a book? Sure, online reading material is far shorter and seems more interesting, but at times there is hardly any substance in it. Apparently, our intonation and even attention to the punctuation while we are reading a book can make reading more enjoyable.

“Literacy Movement” is one of Titian’s CLC Programmes and is offered at our centre in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta. This movement has been successful among elementary school students and the aim is to impart the same enthusiasm for reading among high school students. As in the case of SMAN 1 Pakem, the ongoing literacy activity in this senior high school is still at the beginner stage, which involves building the habit of reading books. The next phase is learning and deriving the substance from what is being read.

A workshop on “School Literacy Movement” was then held on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019, at Titian CLC Kaliurang. The speaker was Mr. Nuradi Indra Wijaya from the Community Library of Mata Aksara Yogyakarta. Workshop participants were from the high school’s Literacy Task Force.

In the workshop, students were divided into several groups for discussion about a book. Each group was given paper and stationery to make a summary of the results of reading the book consisting of:

  1. Group reading
  2. Search for quotes from the content
  3. Mind mapping: characters, timelines and places

Four of the participants were assigned to document the session which included taking photos, video recording and making captions and then publishing this activity on social media so that the impact can become more widespread or even ‘go viral’.

The discussion that went on in each group was exhilarating and the results were presented to other participants. From the presentation, some students still showed a lack of reading skills – intonation and punctuation – and even self-confidence to be in front of a crowd. After this workshop, we hope that each class can apply what has been learned and spread the enthusiasm for the literacy movement to other students in their school. (AW/DAP)

Kartini Celebrates a Milestone

February 27th, 2019

One year has passed and with only three active women left – Mrs. Ratih, Mrs. Inung and Mrs. Rita – the shibori or tie-dye group, called Kartini, is still rock solid. They faced many production challenges in the past year, from discoloration, sewing skills that still need to be refined to the marketing of their products. None of this broke their spirit but actually made them bolder and more confident and eventually made progress.

One of the most significant points of progress they have made is they are now offering shibori workshops to other women. Their first gig as trainers was on October 30th, 2018, a sweet milestone that the group is particularly proud of for it is Kartini’s one-year anniversary.

The Shibori Workshop was initiated and prepared by Kartini themselves, starting from making and distributing brochures and finding participants to preparing decorations. The enthusiasm for the shibori workshop apparently also rubbed off on Kartini’s families, as evidenced by Mrs. Ratih’s husband who came to help put up the decorations and Titian Scholarship recipients, who also lent their hands. This shows how close the kinship is between Titian staff, the Scholarship recipients and Kartini, which meant they all gave their heart and soul to help each other.

The maiden workshop was attended by 15 women and for a relatively modest fee – Rp. 25,000 – participants get four pieces of 50 x 50 cm cloth, consumption, gloves and a Kartini sticker. Compared to other shibori workshops – the price of which can reach a hundred thousand Rupiah, the Kartini workshop was very appealing for the lower-budget households who are eager to learn but can’t afford the higher price. The workshop lasted for 3 hours but that didn’t dampen the participants’ enthusiasm. Kartini made the effort to make the session very interesting by doing ice-breaking before they started, dancing together to induce concentration. Before the session ended, Kartini allowed some time for discussion about shibori with the participants and then closed with participants’ feedback.

One of the participants, Mrs. Dwi, in her feedback said “The course is very good. I initially thought the course would be boring with only shibori practice and then go home. But, as it turned out, even in a very cheap priced course, I was able to make new friends, absorb new knowledge and it wasn’t boring because of the ice-breaking session, the snacks and being able to share knowledge my about shibori. I hope a course like this will be held more often, to include learning new patterns. My kudos to the Kartini team.”

Kartini likewise hopes that they will be able to hold more shibori workshops in the future with different target markets, such as elementary school children and high school students, so that young children can learn more about their own culture. (NF)