The little girl was so comfortable in her mother’s arms. Her mother’s shoulder where she rested her head felt so strong. Every day, the young woman carries her child to the Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) library where she let her beloved child learn to know letters and words so that Amel, that little girl, can learn to spell.
Almost every day Amel is carried by her mother to learn at TBI Alfred Russel Wallace. The TBI library location is not far from her home in Pematang Gadung Village, South Matan Hilir District, Ketapang Regency, West Kalimantan. TBI library is like a school for Amel. Amel acts just like other children going to school with a bag of books and other stationery. She prepares the items she would bring well before leaving for TBI – of course with the help of her supportive mother. She also receives a pocket money to go to TBI.
The little girl is only about 5 years old, with short hair, light skin and round eyes. She has a few limitations. Since her birth, she is unable to move her hands and she also walks with a limp. Nevertheless, she still continues to walk despite having to walk with abnormality. Almost all activities pushed her to use both of her feet. She eats, drinks and writes with her feet. She writes, draws and colors vivaciously with her feet. She lives with joy, not showing strokes of sadness in her face.
Despite living with limitations, Amel does not waste her time to be sad for too long. Like other children, she also loves to play. She jokes and plays around with her friends at the TBI library after they learn to read, count and color.
Amel was overjoyed with TBI presence in the area. She started to be really active and came diligently to TBI around June. Around the same time with the start of school year for formal schools. In reality, Amel’s parents wanted to send Amel to kindergarten but due to their limited budget and far distance, it was difficult for Amel to go to kindergarten.
Ibu Siti, a TBI staff at TBI Alfred Russel Wallace is very diligent and patient in teaching Amel. Almost every day she teaches her to write and color. Amel often comes during the day and it is even not uncommon for her to arrive early before the TBI opens. Ibu Siti also often teaches Amel math. “Amel, is a cheerful kid and she likes coloring,” said Ibu Siti excitedly.
Amel still has a long way to go to achieve her dream. However, she is passionate and enthusiastic despite her limitations. Her conditions cannot prevent her from continuing to study. Hopefully, all of the children in every part of the country, regardless of their condition, can continue to learn and reach their dreams. Viva literacy. (Tri Sujarwo)