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Titianers, Love All

November 3rd, 2019

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019, was a historic day for Titian Foundation scholarship active recipients and alumni at Bayat. This trip to Yogyakarta to see a movie was a first-time experience for most of Titian Foundation scholarship students. A week before the movie screening in Yogyakarta, the beneficiaries from Titian’s other Scholarship site, Tangerang Selatan plus Titian alumni working in Jakarta, were also invited to see the movie.

This movie screening was made possible by Ibu Lindra Widjojo, so that those present were able to see the journey of a small-town girl with startling talent in badminton from Tasikmalaya, called Susi Susanti. The movie followed her life through to the time she won world acclaim by winning Indonesia’s first Olympic gold medal in 1992. The hope is that our students are going to be inspired by her hard work and determination. We required four buses to whisk these students away to Yogya and the trip was a lot of fun for them, as students asked a lot about the name of tall buildings in Yogya and all the excitement and anticipation when entering the cinema studio.

The largest studio in the theatre was reserved for Titian, with 293 seats fully occupied by our scholarship students and alumni. Happy and bewildered looks could be seen on their faces as they set foot into a cinema studio for the first time, gleefully helping each other distribute tickets and even locating their seat number became part of an exciting adventure.

The movie screening started with opening remarks by the MC and playing a quiz as an ice breaker. The movie started at 2pm and they enjoyed every single scene in the movie. There was passage of dialogue in it that made such a lasting impression in the mind of students. It was a conversation between Susi and her father in a bus where Susi asked her father the meaning of badminton term “love all”. Although it technically means the score is 0-0, her father offers a more meaningful description, which is to love every aspect of the game, not just the game itself, and also to love one’s opponent, the audience and most importantly to love yourself. So, Love All has become a hit term often articulated by Titian scholarship students since the visit.

After watching the Susi Susanti movie, students took part in a review/comment competition that was arranged by Titian facilitators. Students had to write a few lines on the impression they had and list all the points they learned from the movie; posting them on social media. Of the 200 Titian scholarship recipients that took part in the competition, 15 were selected as winners.

One of the Generation 11 Titian scholarship students, Wulan Fitriana wrote “Her high sense of nationalism made me realize that a sense of nationalism and effort are two things that are closely related. Because effort without a sense of nationalism will have no meaning. Likewise, Nationalism without effort will never allow a country to move forward!! We, as the young generation, can take Susi Susanti as an example of resiliency and endurance.”
Sharing the same sentiments with Wulan, Nisa Salma from Generation 12 wrote, “This Susi Susanti movie is very inspirational to me. The story of her struggle from zero to hero. The term “love all” is to permeate love in all aspects of life, not limiting it solely to romantic relationships. There are many values that I can learn from the movie, one of which is to continue to love Indonesia wherever I am and whatever its conditions may be, and make a contribution to advancing Indonesia by never giving up and being highly disciplined just like Susi Susanti.”

There are so many values that can be taken away from the Susi Susanti movie, but the ones that strike a chord are to have a spirit of nationalism and high resilience as demonstrated by Susi Susanti herself. (NF)

CLC Rembitan Groundbreaking

August 29th, 2019

The sun is scorching early in the morning and the village is already busy getting ready for a selamatan (ceremonial prayers) following the placing of the first stone, marking the start of construction of Titian’s new CLC – Community Learning Centre – in the hamlet of Rebuk 1 in Rembitan village of Central Lombok district, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province.

The CLC sits on a 600 m2 land, bordered by villagers’ houses on one side and rice fields on the other sides with expected six to eight months to completion. Rebuk 1 hamlet is practically like a blank canvas. The people of Rebuk 1 has been long asleep – in their wretchedness. They have never imagined a better life, let alone dream big. Therefore, Titian aims to shake them up and empower them to get a better life. The CLC will be the source of this empowerment through informal education. It will be equipped with a library, computer lab and open room for hosting workshops or community’s get-together.

Our notes for the village so far, water and sanitation is a challenge. Education is a challenge. When you think there are enough challenges to work on, early marriages and adult illiteracy are also on the list.

It is common for elementary school students in this village to run off to tourist hangouts at nearby Kuta Mandalika beach after school selling small souvenir items like woven bracelets. Often they will only come home for a quick dinner then off again to tourist crowd area and stay until late at night so their family could have little money to support the next day necessities.

Titian has sent four farmers for a permaculture course in Imogiri, Yogyakarta in March 2019, so they can apply the patterns and resilient features observed in their land and transform it into productive resources such as biogas and organic fertilizer. However, its application is still slow due to limited water. Titian is partnering with Soroptimist International of Jakarta (SIJ) to overcome this water and sanitation issue.

The Sasak women of Rebuk 1 inherited the skill to weave, which also indicates that they are ready to be handed in marriage. A working group (Pokja) for tenun (weaved cloth) is currently being prepared to enhance their skill to tenun songket weaving, a type of weave that uses gold/silver threads. To give a fair perspective, the common tenun that women of Rebuk 1 used to do only involve one bamboo-stick, but tenun songket may require up to one hundred bamboo-sticks. The complexity of the skill needed is intimidating even to the skilled weaver. Titian deems that with this apprenticeship, these women will not only improve their weaving skills and therefore their income potential but also most importantly – their self-esteem. This tenun songket training is also sponsored by SIJ.

Lombok is the first site that Titian venture outside Java island. It will be a long steep journey and Titian welcome donors and partners who share the same passion to improve the well-being of the underprivileged.

An Afternoon at CLC Pemenang

July 26th, 2019

It’s only been little over a month ago that our newest CLC in Lombok island just opened, but children and the students of SMPN 2 Pemenang, a junior school in Pemenang subdistrict, where Titian CLC is also situated have already been crowding the place. It gets more visitors when the school starts, up to 50 kids squirming around making noise and being rambunctious.

Our two staff must juggle around to bring order and yet lovingly assisting them. The children are allowed to play, that is if they have read a book. Moreover, the children will be questioned later about the content of the book, to see whether they truly read the book and understand it.

Our newest CLC has a library containing various books, for children to adult. It also has a computer lab where students can get hands-on learning, to learn how to operate it for homework or research. Our CLCs easily become a second home for our Scholarship beneficiaries and community nearby.

Titian decided to set a CLC at this school because it is easy to access for by our Scholarship beneficiaries. Its large field can also accommodate capacity building activities for the students.