• Courtney Saville

The Island Foundation June 2020 Newsletter


Highlights - June 2020


Home Learning


As schools remain closed in Bintan, The Island Foundation continues to create and deliver home learning kits. The kits have been redesigned to incorporate a stronger focus on the development of our 3Cs: confidence, collaboration and critical thinking.


Engagement remains high across the majority of our Learning Centres. For Sialang and Pengudang, where online learning was trialled, we are lucky enlist the support of a local sustainability champion - Bang Iwan - to help students switch to home learning.


Bang Iwan will commence with The Island Foundation on a part time basis in July. Having been one of our earliest volunteers when The Island Foundation started, we are very happy to have Bang Iwan back on board!


Strategy Development and Program Redesign


We are continuing with our Strategy Development and Program Redesign following the June Board meeting. Like many organisations, The Island Foundation is approaching lockdowns and school closures as an opportunity to recalibrate and to develop important infrastructure for improved program outcomes, reach and impact.


We hope to have a publicly available version of The Island Foundation Strategy and supporting materials in the coming months.


In parallel, we are continuing to review our curriculum, drawing on the local environment, culture and traditional sports and crafts to create a locally relevant and engaging curriculum that promotes learning for sustainability, the development of the 3Cs and a model that facilitates learning methods not used in public schools - for example, experiential and project based learning.


We also hope to come back to our supporters with a publicly available overview of The Island Foundation curriculum and model in the coming months.


Fundraising - GlobalGiving


The Island Foundation successfully completed the GlobalGiving Accelerator Program this month and has officially been accepted as a partner to the platform!


A BIG thank you to everyone who donated to the fundraiser - not only did your contributions help us become an official partner to GlobalGiving, we raised over S$9,000 for our programs!


The Island Foundation’s GlobalGiving campaign remains open for donations - through the platform, US and UK donors can receive tax deductions.


Fundraising - WiT


Long term supporter Siew Hoon Yeoh, from Web in Travel (WiT), generously facilitated donations through the June WiT Virtual Summit. We are very grateful to Siew Hoon and networks for their kind support!


TIF Webinar Series


The TIF Webinar Series kicked off this month with a fantastic first session featuring Jasmine Puteri from Greenpeace Indonesia. Jasmine presented and led an interesting discussion on issues of deforestation, climate change, human rights and participation for The Island Foundation team, employees of Nikoi and Cempedak and Yayasan Ecology.


Our next Webinar session will feature Muhammad Ichsan - Sustainable Fisheries Coordinator at USAID SEA. We are excited to learn about what is happening around sustainable fishing and marine conservation in Indonesia.


All of our sessions include key takeaways for our team and our program, such as materials for internal capacity building or content for our lessons. We are very privileged to have the presenters provide their time and knowledge to us at no cost. And we are thrilled to have Nikoi, Cempedak and Yayasan Ecology employees join us each session!


Teacher Riyo


This month we are excited to introduce you to Teacher Riyo! Riyo has been working at The Island Foundation for over six years. Let’s start from the beginning..!


Riyo is from a village on Dabo Singkep Island - approximately three hours by boat from Bintan Island in Lingga Regency. Also a small island community, Riyo grew up playing at the beach and in the forest. The eldest of four kids and the son of a builder and housewife, Riyo wasn’t able to attend university - the costs of supporting their son to study in Bintan were too great for Riyo’s parents.


But it didn’t bother Riyo - at that stage he didn’t have any plans for the future and was happy just hanging out with his friends. After a while, the boys started getting into motorbikes and drag racing for money - which gave them an income and helped them do up their bikes to race again. Riyo did drag racing for over three years.


He also played in local soccer competitions in Dabo Singkep. At the time, his cousin's wife was working at TIF and suggested Riyo try out for a soccer coach role. Riyo was interested, but really wasn’t ready for work - he avoided the trial for over a month, but was eventually invited to join TIF as a soccer coach and to help out on the learning farm.



Riyo struggled at the start - working was a completely different way of life to drag racing and hanging out with friends. He nearly left TIF, drawn back into racing and confused about leaving his life of hanging out to work on a learning farm - luckily, Gontor and other team members changed Riyo’s mind. They showed him what working and learning can do for young people and their futures, inspired him to consider his own future... bit by bit Riyo came into his own.

Working on the learning farm, Riyo started to learn about farming principles and processes. But, it was learning how to use Google and GSuite while working at TIF that propelled him along. He had never been taught or learnt how to use Google - suddenly there was a whole world of information available at his fingertips. Couple that with trips to Singapore to learn about community farming and permaculture and Riyo quickly realised that TIF’s small learning farm was part of a bigger movement.


Now, Riyo is working on a suite of outdoor and extracurricular lessons as part of our program redesign.


Riyo is keen to contribute to TIF’s organisational development - to create a unique learning experience and model with a focus on outdoor, practical and experiential learning that local schools don’t provide.


Recently, Riyo has been working with Bebe - Manager of Nikoi’s farm, Kebun Reja - to develop farm based lessons: from soil, to composting, to cultivating medicinal and ornamental plants. Riyo is very passionate about sustainable farming and is keen to create the farm based lessons, with support from Senior Management and TIF’s advisers to incorporate key learning outcomes and impact assessment.


It’s fantastic to see Riyo’s journey over the past six years and we’re extremely happy he pushed through and stayed with TIF.


And last, but definitely not least - we wish Riyo and his wife, Kamayulisa, all the best in their marriage! The pair married this month in Dabo Singkep and have returned to Bintan ready for the next chapter!

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