Knowing Them Better

During the pandemic, Titian Foundation Kaliurang focused on carrying out activities with youth and children in the Kaliurang area, especially in Dukuh Ngipiksari. Youth activities in the community were stopped/vacuumed due to restrictions on activities in the community. School activities were also carried out online so that teenagers do all of their tasks at home, solely ‘accompanied’ by smartphones. This situation makes the condition of teenagers to be less sensitive to the environment, reluctant to leave the house to do interact with their peers. Their enthusiasm for learning also decreased.

In April, these teenagers have started to carry out normal school activities through having school assignments, joining activities at school and also activities in the community. Teenagers still have to adjust to new conditions. During the pandemic, it is easier for us to invite teenagers because they spend more of their times at home. After normal school activities returned, Titian faced challenges in gathering them, for example they were busy with the many school assignments. Acknowledging this condition, Titian Foundation Kaliurang collaborated with students from Universitas Proklamasi 45 (UP 45) Jogjakarta in conducting a profiling activity to get closer to the teenagers and also exploring their current conditions.

The profiling activity was carried out in April 2022 by four students of UP 45 Jogjakarta in their 6th semester in collaboration with Titian Kaliurang. The activity began with an introduction to the community surroundings and a simulation of visiting activities assisted by Titian staff. Visits were carried out in a relaxed manner so that teenagers felt comfortable. For the sake of time efficiency, they were divided into two groups of students accompanied by Titian staff at the beginning of the activity. After the students felt they could master it, at the end of the activity they were divided into four groups so that the students did the interviews themselves without being accompanied by our staff.

Although there were obstacles experienced during the visit such as bad weather, the condition of some teenagers who were not at home because they were into other activities outside, busy with schoolwork so they couldn’t be disturbed, and also teenagers who were less responsive, we were still able to touch about twenty-eight teenagers starting from eighth to eleventh graders of high/vocational shool in the Dukuh Ngipiksari area.

Apparently, there are still many teenagers who are not confident enough in communicating with new people and feel bored at home during online learning activities. Their socializing experience with friends were also reduced because their time were spent at home. Some of them also have less intimate relationships with their parents, and there are still many teenagers who have no life plan for their future, whether it’s to work or continue their studies. We hope that after teenagers know us better and vice versa, we can plan and create the next activity in the form of collaborative activities between teenagers, university students and also Titian Foundation Kaliurang. (AW)