New foreign feelings, thoughts, and hurdles arise within us in the midst of the current pandemic. It is not just uncomfortable, it is also bizarre. The impact of the coronavirus has obviously affected many sectors. It has also affected how NGOs all around the world operate. Titian is no exception. However, as a committed educational and community development non-governmental organisation, Titian strives to keep empowering the communities in Bayat, South Tangerang, Kaliurang, and Lombok, even though we are used to meeting with the community face-to-face. Most of our activities were conducted in that way for years; for example, the Sunday Gatherings where Titian Scholarship beneficiaries get educational and motivational life-lesson presentations, parenting sessions, also interacting with many kids around the community where our CLCs reside.
However, as the world learns and tries to figure things out, so do we as an NGO. The essential mission of Titian is to inspire a brighter future by developing the communities’ knowledge and skills. Titian has implemented strict protocols to ensure staff, students and the community remains safe during the current pandemic. Titian CLCs are open solely for the Scholarship Programme and plan to open on a limited basis for scholarship beneficiaries. Home studying will be encouraged for the new semester (starting 13 July), and we will be open for our students who need help doing their school work by using our CLC computers and Wi-Fi. Titian also conducts online sessions and classes for the community, such as financial literacy and an English Club.
Titian’s staff impose a strict hygiene protocol, social distancing, face masks, as well as limiting the congregation of people at any particular time in each CLC. We intend to revamp our libraries to accommodate students’ needs for academic reference material for Grades 10 to 12, hence we are appealing for donations of books and computers.
In Bayat, the Titian staff have conducted some book discussions, some crafting activities in order to keep working towards their go-green mission, as well as story-telling and using the crafts they made. In South Tangerang, they have created a small movement that can be done by the Scholarship students at their homes which is called ‘Berdampak Baik’, which means ‘making a good impact’. Although it’s conducted at home, they try to make a good impact by doing small things such as extra chores. The students learn that simple gestures of kindness do matter. Digital platforms like Instagram have played an important role in connecting Titian staff, most noticeably between the Titian staff in Bayat and South Tangerang Scholarship students.
Titian Kaliurang still provides book lending with some strict protocols as do other CLCs. Visitors have to make an appointment with CLC staff before they go to the CLC. The number of supervised visits shows that people around Titian CLCs still need to fulfill themselves with some intellectual activities. And last, at Titian Lombok, Titian Scholarship students are volunteering in each of their homes by helping their younger siblings to learn, draw, and do the chores. Titian staff distribute free masks and they also clean the CLC’s thoroughly.
We always do our best to help the community around us keep on developing their skills and increase their knowledge regardless of the situation we’re facing at the moment. The world may change, and actually, it always will. Nevertheless, we will always commit to do our best in providing educational facilities for communities in Indonesia. (SK)