Titian has completed a number of significant projects which now successfully operate on their own. We still keep a watchful eye on them of course, but we are delighted in their sustained progress. Each is an inspiring story in its own right and represents the principles on which Titian operates. We look forward to working with partners to run more of them in the future.
Indonesian businesswoman Lily Kasoem was drawn to Aceh province because of the devastation caused by the tsunami in 2004. Entire towns were wiped out and more than half a million people were left displaced. Two years after working tirelessly to help the surviving victims in Aceh she set up Titian Foundation and decided to go full-time into helping less fortunate communities in Indonesia.
Since our inception we have continued to help the people in Aceh recover and rebuild. Working together with local institutions and the official government body set up in the aftermath of the disaster, BRR NAD-Nias, we were able to make a significant difference in restoring financial activity within the region.
Titian Foundation was formed in response to the 2006 Central Java earthquake where we rebuild three schools that were destroyed in the remote village of Bayat.
Only two years after the terrible tsunami that rocked the eastern coast of Indonesia, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the heart of the country in Central Java province and took the lives of 5,000 people in the area. The earthquake wounded a further 9,000 people and displaced over 100,000 people, with 60,000 homes destroyed. Titian Foundation was formed in response to this disaster and we worked hard to rebuild three schools that were destroyed in a remote village called Bayat.
When the Governor of Central Java at the time, Mr. Mardianto, asked us to build a school in Bayat, and was prepared to provide 26,000 m² of land for us, we jumped at the opportunity without hesitation.
Working together with the regency, and with funds provided generously by Qatar Foundation’s Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), we set out to build a modern vocational school focusing on traditional crafts of batik and ceramics. We opened the school formally in 2009 and are proud to announce that all of the first group of students of SMK Negeri 1 ROTA Bayat have passed their studies and are either pursuing higher education or beginning their careers.
Batik and ceramics were skills already found in the local community, so it made sense to build a vocational school as a means to preserve and develop the strengths the community already has. Support for the development of ceramics came later through the assistance of notable Professor Chitaru Kawasaki who joined the team as a professional volunteer, providing technical consultancy in the ceramics curriculum and workshop.
The school has four classrooms for the three grades it teaches. Covering an area of around 5,600 m², the schools buildings come complete with two workshops for each major, a management office, a language lab, a library, a computer lab, an auditorium, as well as commercial galleries where students sell their products to the public. Recreational facilities include a volleyball court, a canteen and a covered bicycle park.
In 2009, Titian helped rebuild eleven houses that were swept away by a landslide that struck the small village of Cigalontang in Tasikmalaya.
Helping children to get education is one way to get them out of the poverty cycle, however Titian found their parents also need a helping hand to improve their living circumstances. Often the hindrance to their progress is the limited access to capital that small enterprises face in remote regions. That’s why, in 2014, Titian launched its Microfinance Programme.
Titian set up the programme with two leading banking institutions—Panin Bank Syariah and BMT Bina Ihsanul Fikri (BIF) to facilitate capital for micro/small enterprises. The programme was initially offered to the scholarship parents but subsequently expanded to other small entrepreneurs in Bayat, Klaten. The Microfinance Programme is a welcome substitute to the loan sharks who often entrap entrepreneurs in small rural villages like Bayat.
Regular meetings are also held as a forum to teach members how to manage businesses and draw out ideas to improve their productivity and income. Also, building good cooperation between members and allowing them to share with others their success stories about running their businesses.