TIF is developing three programs to address the challenges mentioned earlier:
Education & Literacy
Sustainable Village Development
Marine Conservation & Education
The purpose of our programs is to help further education and employment opportunities for the coastal communities in the Riau Archipelago while simultaneously protecting local marine resources, livelihoods, culture and traditions.
Education & Literacy Program
The objective of this program is two-fold:
(a) To develop literacy programs in the heart of each Riau coastal community. We are achieving this through setting up learning centers which offer free English and IT lessons (both necessary to compete in a “globalised” Indonesia) as well as reading and cultural programs to develop creative writers, thinkers and a strong sense of identity among the children and youth. In July 2009, TIF started a literacy program by setting up a small learning center with donated computers and English/Bahasa books in the village of Teluk Bekau. Since then, four additional learning centers have been set-up in the villages of Berakit, Malang Rapat, Pengudang and Mapur Island. TIF aims to reach 7,500 village adults and children through these learning centers.
(b) To help improve the quality of teaching and resources within the schools so the performance levels increase as well as to create awareness among the parents on the importance of keeping their children in school. This objective is being achieved by organizing training workshops to introduce innovative teaching techniques that local teachers can use to enhance lessons. In 2011, TIF organized three teacher-training workshop that brought teachers from UWCSEA-East (Singapore) and Al Jabr Education Center (Jakarta) to train and connect with 90 local schoolteachers as well as village parents from several villages in Bintan.
Village Development Program
The Village Development Program (VDP) aims to create sustainable economic development and self-reliance among coastal villages in the Riau Archipelago. In partnership with the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), an organization based in Thailand, TIF is aiming to develop VDPs with a unique approach to community empowerment and ending poverty. The VDP addresses five key areas: 1) community empowerment; 2) economic development; 3) environment; 4) health and 5) education. The key to village improvement is through idea generation and the establishment of a clear and strong sense of ownership that will persevere beyond the sponsor’s initial investment.
Marine Conservation & Education Program
This program aims to address the specific challenges of marine pollution, falling fish stocks, disenfranchised subsistence fishing communities and a lack of awareness of marine conservation. TIF has begun to engage the local subsistence fishing community to develop innovative programs that showcase their indigenous knowledge of marine management and conservation as well as to create a solid consensus on the protection and management of coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass and around other marine issues. The ultimate aim of this program is to see the development of local marine conservation and education schools that are run by the indigenous fishermen as well as to create a conservation zone, protecting the coral reefs that stretch along the coast of East Bintan. The conservation zone will act as a nursery for fish and other marine life, sustained through educational programs and policed by local fishermen.