Tanjung Niasari

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013
Lembaga Motivasi Obor Dunia


This profile was prepared when Tanjung Niasari was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Nomadic tribes in Indonesia are common and can be invisible; particularly disadvantaged are the children who are a critical population group for the successful future of Indonesia. Without education, jobs and stability there is no hope. This group is often neglected by the government and overlooked by development efforts, and data on the children who have been educated is very scarce if not nonexistent; it is safe to say most have no education due to the itinerant lifestyle of their families.

Tanjung has begun to work with these children through Rumah Motivasi (House of Motivation) a kindergarten she has set up for underserved communities. The idea is to begin to work with the Bajo people, an ethnic group known as “sea-gypsies”. This tribe lives everywhere throughout the far flung islands of Indonesia working in the fishing industry when they can. By first working with this wandering tribe they can build a reputation, credibility, trust; then the hope is that other tribes will learn of the kindergartens and they can begin to work with other local tribes such as the Tolaki.

Tanjung creates small learning groups in order for the children to build self-confidence and increase their motivation to learn. She uses cognitive psychology teachings and patterns, and the arts to teach basic literacy and math. Tanjung is also teaching children to be creative and helping them with basic skills in reading, writing and counting. The teachers that are recruited are often from the same communities as the students.

The effort is collaborative involving the community, facilitators, teachers, children, local women, and mothers all involved with the school. Jobs are found for learners which is key to the possibility of a less nomadic lifestyle.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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