That morning, I was supposed to do my routine monitoring alone in three Taman Baca libraries in West Bandung Regency. Unexpectedly, my phone rang, and a message from a bunch of volunteer friends popped up on my phone. They wanted to join me and visit Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) to play and engage in some useful activities with the children. At the beginning, I was doubtful of their intention since the road to TBI is very difficult – it has many potholes and you have to change public transportation multiple times to reach the library. Nevertheless, this challenging situation did not lessen their spirit to come and share their experience with the children at TBI.
After 2 hours of travel from the city area of Bandung, we arrived at TBI Blaise Pascal and was warmly welcomed by more than 20 children. They came to us shyly, but their enthusiasm and joy of meeting the volunteers could not be contained. The volunteers, on the other hand, were also nervous and excited to see the children. They were worried that the children would be bored, they told me. Turned out, they did not need to worry. The volunteers played and learned together with the children, had some fun activities, and closed the day with the happiest smile as they took some pictures. The same smile that has been on their faces since they started the activities.
That day, the children went home singing about the names of heroes that the volunteers taught them. The staffs also knew more educational games after the activities that day. The volunteers also went home with a big smile and an endless heartwarming story on the activities. “That was a really fun and joyous holiday,” one of the volunteers remarked.
There are many ways to find joy and there are also plenty of ways to spend the holiday. ‘Holiday’ does not always mean beach or luxurious budget. Turns out, being a volunteer is also a way to find joy. For the volunteers at Taman Baca Inovator, sharing their knowledge with the children in Taman Baca Inovator community was one of their ways to find joy and be useful for others who reside in a more remote area.
As of today, the foundation has 22 Taman Baca libraries all over Indonesia. Volunteering has also become one of the important pillars for Taman Baca Inovator to achieve its vision and mission. We are always involving the volunteers in the remote and city area to help build the reading interest of Indonesian children.
Let’s find joy and join us as volunteers in Taman Baca Inovator!