The hand of the middle-aged woman shifted elegantly between the books, arranging them nicely on a shelf at the corner of the school. She sighed occasionally while looking at the books scattered on the floor. Some of the children did put back the books they read on the shelf, but some others just left the books on the floors and ran as soon as they heard the school bell rang. It pretty much summed up how the children usually behave when visiting Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) library.
TBI Jendela Dunia library in Bekasi depends a lot on Ani Kasni Prastiawati. The veiled woman has been working hard to develop literacy culture, starting from the corner of a school among the hills of trash. Her unstoppable spirit shows how she really loves books and does not mind the challenge that she has to endure. She dedicates her time every day, as an effort to encourage Ciketing Udik children to love reading. Her love for the children and books helps her to enjoy what she does.
Books with interesting drawings line up orderly between the neatly arranged wooden shelves. A variety of children’s handmade crafts ranging from paper flowers, straw frames to festive plastic crafts are displayed on the walls of the white painted room. The room, which was calm and quiet is now buzzing with children who are doing their activities there. From reading, playing puzzles, charades, storytelling, writing, doing homework to many other activities.
Since 6 AM in the morning, Ani – a mother of two Children, Annisah and Sultan – has arrived in the room of 6m x 7m. Her hand quickly reached the broom and swept the floor from dirt. Not stopping there, she took out a bucket and mopped the floor. She wants to keep the children happy and feel comfortable at TBI. Therefore, the TBI Jendela Dunia Bekasi is relatively clean even though it is located in a landfill area.
The children also love learning to read with Ibu Ani. Her friendliness and patience make the kids feel at ease. Occasionally, she performs some storytelling to entertain the children at TBI. On other occasions, she teaches the children how to make art out of origami paper. The crafts the kids created are displayed proudly on the wall of the room.
Ani’s action is supported by her husband, Aning. Despite living with all the limitations, her enthusiasm to grow Ciketing Udik’s reading culture will not dissipate. Let’s hope that other figures like Ani will also appear in other marginal areas in Indonesia, introducing children to the joy of reading. (Tri Sujarwo)