Programmes Completed Projects

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.

Aceh-Nias Project

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.

Tsunami and Conflict Widow Programme—Food Production Leads to Financial Independence

One of the many heartening stories to come out of the terrible circumstances surrounding the 2004 tsunami is that of the Lamreh market traders operating from a building constructed by Soroptimist International, an organisation dedicated to the empowerment of women.

In a partnership with the financial-services group CLSA, we were able to conduct a programme where 134 women from Pidie, Aceh, who lost husbands during the disaster are now financially independent due to a thriving food processing business. We provided the women with entrepreneurship training and now we continue to maintain our good relationship with them.

Bayat School Project

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.

Building It Better with Partners

Thanks to incredibly generous contributions from our partners; German personal care products company Beiersdorf, independent equity brokers and financial-services group CLSA, Qatar Foundation’s Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), and the Soroptimist International of Jakarta, who collectively funded the rebuilding of the schools in one compound and improve the overall quality of the schools’ equipment and facilities. Significant upgrades to the school’s facilities include environmentally-friendly classrooms, a large library, a sports hall, an art pavilion, internet facilities, a computer laboratory, a language laboratory and an open-air playground.

Continued Support

Although we have formally handed management of the schools to the government of Central Java, we continue to be involved with supporting the schools with management advice for day-to-day operations. Two notable contributions we made to the schools after the handover was to set up a Parent Teachers Association within the school, and establish a public Community Learning Centre (CLC) located inside the school premises. We continue, with the help of our partners, to provide the CLC with books and other equipment.

Bayat Vocational School

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.

Traditional Skills Taught in a Modern School

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.

Working Together

We are grateful to our partners in this project. Aside from the land space, the Klaten Regency also provided teachers, equipment, assistance, and the necessary permits and licences. Qatar Foundation’s Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) provided the funds to build the school. Together we have made a significant difference to over 500 students as well as their families in the community. Without the school, none of the children in this undeveloped area of Bayat would have had access to proper educational facilities. It brings us great joy to know that many of the students that have passed the vocational school have been able to achieve university scholarship grants through their own efforts.

We continue to support and monitor the school very carefully, but more than this, we continue to keep very close contact with the students that have succeeded in their studies. We are keen to continue giving them support as they move forward with their lives so that one day they may come back and help develop the community they came from.

Cigalontang, Tasikmalaya

In 2009, Titian helped rebuild eleven houses that were swept away by a landslide that struck the small village of Cigalontang in Tasikmalaya.

In September 2009, a tectonic earthquake of magnitude 7.3 on the Richter Scale hit southwest of Tasikmalaya, West Java resulting in considerable casualties. The aftermath of this quake included landslides in the hilly areas of Tasikmalaya, such as Cigalontang where houses were destroyed. Titian helped to rebuild eleven homes in Cigalontang. As part of the same scheme we also developed a Community Learning Centre in the village.


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.

Titian found that production improved by as much as much as 25% after members got their loan. Many businesses tripled their production as the result of the extra funding. Total loan disbursements as of December 2019 for this programme were valued at Rp 200 million. Several of the recipients were so successful that they moved out of the microfinance programme into a more conventional bank loan indicating the long-term stability of their business.