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Kids Who Read

New Library in East Bali to Boost Literacy Levels


Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Samara Welbourne, Tyas Latra, community library, Bungaya Village, Cherril Picton, Bungaya Village
Click Image to Enlarge

(4/9/2017)

Driven by a passion for encouraging local youth to read books and embrace literacy, two teenagers - an Australian and a Balinese, are spearheading a project to build the first public library in an impoverished area of East Bali.


Samara Welbourne from the Australia’s Sunshine Coast and Tyas Latra from Karangasem in East Bali are aiming to raise AUD 20,000, so their dream of building a  library in the extremely poor area of Bungaya Village can become a reality.

The young women became friends while Samara lived in Bali with her mother, Cherrell Pcton, who was working as an Australian Volunteer International (AVI) volunteer at PUSPADI Bali. Tyas is the daughter of PUSPADI Bali’s Director, I Nengah Latra.

The library is being built on land owned by Latra.

The girls’ vision to build a library was ignited when they heard the Indonesian Government mandate that every child must read for 15 minutes a day in order to improve the national literacy rates.

“I love reading and I really wanted to help the children in my village to enjoy it as well so it can open up opportunities for them,” Tyas said.

Many of the youth in Bungaya village and surrounding communities have limited literacy rates, forming part of a linked cycle between poverty and a lack of an education.

“The library will increase the Bungaya residents’ reading and English skills, which will improve their chances of finding a job and lifting themselves out of poverty,” Samara said. “It’ll be a space used for cultural events like dancing, and it will also be accessible for people with a disability so everyone can equally enjoy the library.”

Samara also approached Journeyman International, a group of US architects who do free designs for social good or humanitarian projects and impressed by the idea, they have drawn up the library’s plans, which includes a "bale" and community space for cultural performances or educational seminars.

The library, kitchen, restroom, and bale are easily accessed using connecting paths, ramps and stairs, as well as low rock walls creating benches throughout the site.

“Through the library to the back side of the site, the open floor plan of the "bale" enhances the incredible view of Mount Agung,” Nicole Thompson, Architect at Journeyman International said. “There is a flow between all of the uses and structures, as well as the project providing the community with a learning sanctuary to gather and empower one another.”

The library’s overall cost is AUD20,000 with the teenagers busily fundraising to reach this target. Together they have set up a GoFundMe page, for people to donate or learn more about the library.

The Australian Consulate-General has provided AUD5,000 in funding for the library project, through the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program.

The Consulate-General’s Direct Aid Program - active since 2005 - annually funds around 10 local projects. Since 2005, Australia has contributed around AUD 800,000 to assist local community efforts. This year, the Consulate-General will fund initiatives in women’s empowerment and development, community health, disability, and education to a value of AUD120,000.

“We are very pleased to support the building of PUSPADI Bali’s Community Library Center at Bungaya Village, Karangasem,” said Dr. Helena Studdert, the Australian Consulate-General. “The project will give the community access to books and learning activities, as well as an education, which is fundamental to economic growth and future opportunities.”

Dr. Studdert noted, “the project is a great example of the deep and long-standing ties between the Australian and Balinese peoples.”

Rotaract on the Sunshine Coast has also pledged AUD5,000. The Bali International Women’s Association (BIWA) and a team from Bali Island School are also donating funds for the library.

“We appreciate all donations, including books, especially Indonesian books for children, so they have access to quality Bahasa Indonesia and English reading material.”

Construction will start in April and expected to be finished in May, with the library due to open soon after.

“I see the extreme poverty in areas of East Bali and there are children, including those with a disability, who desperately want to read and have a good education but with no means to do so,” I Nengah Latra, PUSPADI Bali’s Director said. “The library will be free for the community to use, so they have the opportunity to come and learn to read at their own pace in a safe environment.”

To donate, visit the library’s GoFundMe Page  or contact Nengah Latra by telephoning ++62-(0)812 3990 701.

Email Latra  or Cherrell Picton.


© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

       

 
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