YAYASAN TAMBUHAK SINTA - INDONESIA
Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta, better known as YTS, is an independent foundation that was created in 1997 by a mineral exploration company, PT Kalimantan Surya Kencana, together with a group of Dayaks (the local indigenous population), at a location along the Kahayan River, deep in the jungles of Kalimantan. The purpose behind the foundation was to work towards improving the quality of life and livelihoods of Dayak villagers living close to the exploration area, and to make sure everyone benefited from any mining development.
In more recent years, YTS has broadened its scope to work on behalf of other entities – other companies, donor agencies, and international development organisations, in fields such as environmental protection, community development, and governance building. The geographic focus has also broadened beyond the Kahayan River to include locations in other parts of Central Kalimantan and sites in East Kalimantan.
Today the focus is still on helping to improve the welfare of Dayaks in Kalimantan, but the efforts have become more strategic and pragmatic, always looking for new and better avenues to achieve the original objectives.
The Yayasan believes in collaborating closely with government and other key actors in the development arena, and is working on creative approaches that bring together communities, government, business, and civil society organisations, with the purpose of achieving a better society for all. Each village creates its own, individual development plan that feeds into the government planning cycle. Villages are then able to access support that is directly relevant to their needs.
As a second measure, YTS provides immediate technical support for key livelihood activities that are prioritised in the village plan. These include upland rice cultivation and rubber production, and chicken, pig and fish rearing. Technical experts for these activities are contracted by each village directly, with YTS providing financial and management support.
An important underlying principle is that life is complex and dynamic. It is constantly changing, and therefore it is essential to follow and respond to these changes and not get locked into rigid approaches and ideas while pursuing development objectives and processes. The Foundation strives to improve the capacity of government to plan and manage the overall development process.
YTS activities also include an education programme and a community project to prevent the release of toxic mercury used in gold mining into the environment. (See the video below to better understand YTS’s relationship with Kalimantan Gold mining company.)
Susila Dharma Britain helped fund YTS’s project to bring new economic opportunities to approximately two hundred poor households in Bukit Batu district and an estimated one thousand people have benefited directly from this project. We support a fish farming project which provides training to provide fish food locally and sustain fish ponds in the villages. Recently this project has expanded to support training in healthy vegetable cultivation, aiming to improve the resilience of farming communities who face strong competitive pressures in maintaining stable incomes. Training and support covers a range of themes including farming techniques but also training in marketing and the brokering of partnerships with government agenices and third parties.