Considering the importance of collaboration to develop the reading interest in Indonesia through its programs, Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) Foundation has been partnering with many institutions and organizations to help raise awareness on the importance of reading. Low reading interest in the country has been the main reason why TBI is present in many remote areas in Indonesia.
Educating the population is not merely the government’s job. Communities also need to take part and work together to achieve this objective. With this spirit, TBI has been partnering with International Animal Rescue (IAR) Foundation for the establishment of a TBI library in Pematang Gadung Village, Matan Hilir Selatan Sub-District, Ketapang District, West Kalimantan. IAR is a very important stakeholder, that also cares about the reading interest in Indonesia apart from its mission of rescuing orangutan in Indonesia. TBI and IAR have been working hand in hand to advance the communities in Indonesia.
The TBI library, which was named TBI Alfred Russel Wallace, is the embodiment of a collaboration between TBI and IAR, which continues to happen to this day. The collaboration has actually strengthened with more activities conducted in the TBI library. Nurdianti, an IAR staff is also working closely with TBI staffs, Ibu Meli and Ibu Siti Afuah. The three strong women from Ketapang have been the ones who are working hard on the ground to develop TBI in the area.
IAR has been building awareness to care about orangutan conservation, targeting teenagers in the Pematang Gadung area through a community named Pongo Ranger. The teenagers are provided with the knowledge why it is very important to help conserve orangutan in their environment and at the same time they are also encouraged to read. Some activities conducted by Pongo Ranger Community in Pematang Gadung are also conducted in TBI Alfred Russel Wallace, involving both the members of TBI and IAR and creating interaction between members of the two foundations.
Both IAR and TBI often held activities to support and build reading interest in areas outside of Ketapang District. Some time ago, IAR staffs borrowed some books to develop a mobile library to reach the children of Dayak Ransa tribe who rarely seen high quality books like the ones provided by TBI Alfred Russel Wallace. The children were very happy to be able to access the books. The foundations also built a Reading Corner in the IAR booth during Gawai Dayak Naik Dango event in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. So far, the activities have been very well received and we hope to continue improving for the future. (Tri Sujarwo)