It was still early in the morning when dozens of students dressed in Nagekeo traditional attire gathered in the courtyard of SDI Sorowea. Their faces radiated happiness because, in a little while, the Regent of Nagekeo would inaugurate their new library. Parents, community members, and traditional leaders also showed up in the school courtyard.

The students were dancing to welcome the Regent of Nagekeo

At exactly 8:30 AM local time, the Regent of Nagekeo arrived at the school courtyard. Gongs and drums resounded, and a group of SDI Sorowea students began to perform the tea eku dance, a traditional dance to welcome the guests according to Nagekeo customs. After the performance, the Regent and the entourage walked towards the library building that was about to be inaugurated. A low buzz of excitement could be heard from the attendees. “One… two… three…” On the count of three, a student cut the ribbon, symbolizing the official opening of their school library.

Accompanied by their class teachers, students entered the library to choose and read their favourite books. Inside, hundreds of illustrated children’s storybooks were displayed with clear covers. Every page turned was a step into limitless adventures. Occasionally, the Regent of Nagekeo asked questions to some children about the meaning of the words they were reading. While touring the room, he actively listened to children reading their selected books.

The Regent of Nagekeo was listening to a student reading a book

After spending about an hour in the library, the Regent, along with the entourage, parents, teachers, school principal, and invited guests, moved to the classrooms prepared for a welcoming ceremony and a shared meal. During the meal, Regent Nagekeo delivered a speech. In his address, Regent Nagekeo, Johanes Don Bosco Do, urged the school to collaborate with parents to create a joint reading program in the library. “To ensure literacy in the school develops well, teachers and principals need to involve parents by allocating days for reading together with parents,” concluded Regent Nagekeo.

The Regent of Nagekeo was delivering his speech during the library opening

Now, the children at SDI Sorowea can comfortably read books in the library. They can also explore the world of imagination through various stories. “The hope is that through this collaboration of this child-friendly library, five to twenty years from now, we can witness the growth of excellent human resources from this school, starting with reading books,” expressed Maria Dolorosa Yopi, the principal of SDI Sorowea, in her speech.