Celebrating TBP’s Achievements at 14: From Planting the Seeds of Dreams to Empowering Teachers and Girls

  • 44 Newly Established Child-friendly Libraries 

2023 has been an amazing year! In 2023, TBP successfully established 44 child-friendly libraries in Flores, Lombok, and Sulawesi, adding the number to a total of 251 child-friendly libraries in 19 islands so far since 2009. This means more and more children all across Indonesia are now able to read quality books from their libraries. To our record, these 44 libraries have provided access to 6,340 children to read and enjoy thousands of quality book which we believe would plant the seeds of dreams within them.

This tremendous progress would have been impossible without the generous support from all of our partners including Room to Read, DoE of Nagekeo District, Givaudan Foundation, Forest Carbon, PUYO Desserts, and the Body Shop.

SDN Kuru’s library opening 


  • Empowering 483 Teachers, Principals, and Government Officials through Hybrid Trainings
David Strawbridge from Room to Ream was giving an opening remark during Library Management workshop

We conducted a series of workshops on Library Management, Library Routines, Library Period, and Library and Reading Activity Observations with a total of 14 workshops in 5 districts in Eastern Indonesia. These workshops were hybrid, allowing more than 2000 teachers, principals, and government officials to dive into the great use of technology but still supported with hands-on experiences, role-plays, or follow-up in person sessions by the TBP team.

As research has shown that there is a direct link between teacher quality and student performance, these workshops are aimed at empowering teachers on how to conduct reading activities in the library. Thus, they can be the role-model for students in reading, and their students will follow and enjoy reading.

Library Routine Workshop at SDN Obooja


  • To’o Jogo Waga Sama – How a Cultural Value Ignites a Collaboration

Many days before the library is opened, there is a multitude of work from different parties that go hand in hand in a mission to provide quality books and improve student literacy. In Nagekeo, this collaboration is supported by its cultural value To’o Jogo Waga Sama, which means the spirit of mutual cooperation. All school communities not only principals, teachers, and students but also parents, school committee, community leaders, and business owners work together to renovate, refurbish, and prepare the libraries.

One of those great collaborations took place in SDK Gero. SDK Gero couldn’t pass the selection process to have a child-friendly library in their school in 2022 because the new principal, Mr Victorius, was doubtful about how to obtain funds for the room preparation while the heavy damage seemed to require a high budget. The library had no ceiling, no flooring, and no wall coating. 

However, with the spirit of To’o Jogo Waga Sama, Mr Victorius worked together with the village head in 2023 moving and leading the community to collect IDR 100,000 per family in order to generate IDR 27 million for the room renovation and room preparation. The renovation involved all parties starting from all village chiefs fixing the wall and ceiling, teachers’ husbands installing tile floors, the school operator and security painting the wall, and the female teachers cooking and preparing meals.

Thank you to all SDK Gero’s communities for such inspiring collaboration!

SDK Gero’s library after room preparation


  • 209 Students and 100 Teachers Joined the Reading Aloud Competition

As part of celebrating TBP’s 14th Anniversary, TBP hosted a Reading Aloud Competition during Nagekeo One Be Festival on December 6, 2023. After receiving and selecting 309 videos from primary schools in Nagekeo, 15 finalists from three categories – teachers, grade 1-3 students, and grade 4-5 students, were announced to perform for the final show live.

Each finalist showed huge excitement and performed very well. While reading, each finalist managed to grab audience and judges’ attention, making them get swept away by their expressions, intonations, and gestures.

We highly appreciate all participants’ efforts in making the reading aloud videos and congratulations to all winners. It is hoped that this competition can boost students and teachers’ motivation to read.

Reading Aloud competition’s participants on the final show


  • Cultivating Parental Engagement in Reading

At schools, students can listen to their teacher reading a story and read books in the library. Their joy to read shouldn’t stop at schools but continue to grow at home too. Thus, we always involve parents in our program not only in preparing the physical room but also in nurturing the students’ reading habits at home.

On December 8, 2023, we conducted a Parent Engagement program in SDN Hinua, Mamuju, West Sulawesi. Fifteen parents of grade 1 students were invited to the library in which they were introduced to child-friendly library concepts and practised reading aloud. The introduction of child-friendly libraries allowed parents to know the library features, book levels, and book maintenance. While for reading aloud, one teacher demonstrated how to read a story with interesting expressions, gestures, voices, and intonations in front of the parents. After that, parents practised in small groups and then in front of all other parents at the end.

Not only did parents enjoy this activity, but they could later do it with their children at home. Now, they can listen to stories from their teachers at school and from their parents at home.

Parent Engagement program at SDN Hinua


  • Girls Scholarship: Empowering Girls to Pursue their Education 

We are proud to announce that we have established a Girls Scholarship program since 2021 with a total of 20 awardees aged 12-17 years old. Looking at the data, the number of school dropouts is increasing in East Nusa Tenggara, especially female students. Therefore, this scholarship focuses on female students to empower and enable them to continue their education up to high school.

“I want to be a nun and travel the world. I am very grateful to receive this scholarship”, said Emanuela, one of the Girls Scholarship awardees. Emanuela is the youngest child of six. Both her father and mother have passed away, so Emanuela had to move to Kupang to join her eldest sister. Unfortunately, her sister lost her job during the pandemic, making it difficult to support her and her other siblings. With this scholarship, Emanuela can continue studying and during the mentoring program, she really enjoyed the session with Suster Anselma from Jakarta who shared her life stories and profession as a nun. It motivates Manuela and boosts her spirit to reach her dream.

TBP staff was visiting Emanuela’s house, one of Girls’ Scholarship awardee, in Kupang


  • Schools of 2022 Phase Out: Sustaining the Library

On July 27, 2023, we conducted a Reflection Meeting and Phase Out 66 Schools of 2022’s program in Setda Hall, Nagekeo. After a year of support and monitoring, it is time for the schools to manage their library independently and to discuss how to sustain the library with the school community.

During the event, all participants from principals, teachers, librarians, and school supervisors actively participated in discussing what worked well, what needed to improve, and how to sustain the library. Many innovations were initiated in schools, for example SDN Waemburung built a reading garden for their students to have an outdoor reading space. Another thing to highlight was the increased book checkout rate of the 66 schools of 2022, from 1 book per student a month to 4 books per student a month. More interestingly, some schools such as SDK Bokogo had reached 15 books per student a month by June 2023.

At the end of the discussion, several awards were announced to appreciate all the hard work all 66 schools had done. Tears were streaming when it was time to say goodbye between TBP and schools while the song “Kita Selamanya” by Bondan Prakoso was being played. We are grateful to work together with schools establishing child-friendly libraries in schools, and throughout the period of support monitoring countless great lessons and experiences were gained from the field.

66 school partners’ representatives were attending the Reflection and Phase Out Meeting which was attended by Nagekeo’s Mayor