Our Community Learning Center or CLC in Lombok has been running for eight months. Once we opened it up to members of the community around us, a new story can certainly be written, especially by Titian’s staff who have been assisting them. We haven’t been stayed there long enough yet the enthusiasm of the local community to develop is priceless. There’s a heartwarming simple story. The Lombok children in Rembitan ‘sent’ letters to Titian’s staff for several times—by using a very simple language they thanked our staff. In a broader perspective, seeing their development is something that is very touching. Many of them initially had limited abilities regarding Calistung (Calistung is an abbreviaton of ‘baca-tulis-hitung’ which means read, write, and count), but now they can easily complete the challenges we give. At first, they were hesitant to appoint themselves to speak in public and now they are enthusiastically want to get the first turn. It is something that always makes us feel excited to explore more and try other activities for them.
Our activities are very diverse, ranging from reading activities to weaving activities. One of our missions is to develop the potential of the community while maintaining local wisdom and culture in the places where our CLC or activities are located and held. Together with the support from Soroptimist International of Jakarta, we run several mentoring programs for the community in order to improve their quality of life. In this case, Sewing and Weaving Classes are two of our mainstay programs when it comes to women empowerment.
Through the Weaving and Sewing Classes, we saw notable developments taking place in the lives of the women in Rembitan, especially in the village of Nyanggit. Now, through the weaving program, class participants are able to produce creations that are not only beautiful because of its high quality, but also have a higher selling price. Moreover, through this program, the women have been able to share by teaching other women how to weave a lot more complicated weaving patterns. Just like waves, this goodness of skill-sharing habit spreads around. This also happened to the sewing class. They previously had never used a sewing tool and now they are able to produce beautiful works that are ready to sell. In fact, some of them have been able to sell their own products and one of their sold products were sling bags.
There are small things that we are always grateful for, such as maintaining close relationships with the children around the village of Rebuk 1. This is a very valuable thing for us—to see the enthusiasm of the Lombok children to find out and process things, and in the end they get something useful. It’s something new in their life. The women work continuously in our CLC. Our center may be closed every Mondays or public holidays, but the enthusiasm of the women to go to CLC is very high. Even though it was closed, some of them still come to weave or do other activities such as dyeing yarns. CLC Titian Rembitan is no longer just a place to play or study, but a second home that is always open to them.
And now we are trying to spread our wings by expanding our program. The literacy program for elementary schools is one of the programs we carry out. The aim of this program is to increase students’ interest in reading and literacy skills. Currently, the 6th grade students of SD Rembitan are the only participants in this program. We will visit other schools. Just as extraordinary as the children of Nyanggit village and surrounding areas, they are also very enthusiastic in participating in this program. Knowing what the teachers said about the children’s enthusiasm at school to welcome us and learn together is definitely a booster for us to help more children.
Watching their progress is very exciting for us. However, it becomes a challenge for us in planning future programs to continue to improve and see what new things need to do to assist them, both for children and adults. Not only that, we acknowledge that our program for men is still limited and this is also a challenge for us. We hope that in the future we will be able to provide thorough assistance, not only for children but also for women and men.
Currently, CLC Titian Rembitan has been running for eight months. There have been many good developments that have occurred since December 29, 2020 until now. Of course, there are many things that we need to improve in the process with the community. Despite the challenges, we believe that we can help Lombok people to grow. (NL)