Today, my baby is 8 months and we decided to buy him his first (snuggle) book as a gift. He spent most of the day playing, touching, sensing some colors, sound, and sometimes he tried to repeat what I'm saying though it is just a babble. When we read the words together, I just found happiness, intimacy, and love at the same time. I really wish that the more time we spent together snuggling up with books will let us slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time which will bring the two of us even closer together and I am grateful that our family has been so blessed with access (financially and intellectually) to educational pieces of stuff to boost my baby's learning potential simply by making books an integral part of his lives sooner.
I believe that we are all understands that reading to our kids is important. But, how about other children under poverty in Indonesia? Do they have books? Do they read? Do they have the same access and opportunity to afford children books?
Writing this post has put me in a serious investigation of books and Indonesian children. The fact that we are extremely in an alarming condition of low literacy support is not surprising. Research published by UNESCO, the UN's educational, scientific and cultural body suggests that "175 million young people lack even basic literacy skills across the globe. One in four young people in developing countries is unable to read a sentence, according to a report, which warns that poor quality education has left a "legacy of illiteracy" more widespread than previously believed. Ten countries – India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – account for almost three-quarters of the world's illiterate adults, according to the report”.
Because reading is not part of Indonesia's culture, it is uncommon (they said). Well, I am not an avid reader anyway, but ever since we moved here, to be honest, I am overwhelmed by the amount of literature and assignments given every week and I have no excuse to not to go to the library or simply by downloading free journal to read overnight just because I have the freedom of access to it and the after wise feeling of fascination–they instantly make you feel richer and better.
Compare to malls, libraries are very rare even in big cities in Indonesia. While the world becomes increasingly competitive, these children risk getting left behind by not learning about the value of reading. Access to an education, starting from stimulating the love for reading a book is one of the best key and the only opportunities for children to end the cycle of poverty and attain a better quality of life than previous generations.
One of the solutions is through an expansion of the book collection of the library. This will improve the reading habits of children, as well as stimulate a sense of curiosity and intellectual development and raise the influence of home literacy. The fact that in Indonesia, according to The Guardian (2014), between 20 to 25 percent of children have no literacy support at home, and on average other children only have one family member who supports them. All can potentially benefit from more family and community involvement in learning as the study found home literacy environment positively predicted every skill–the richer the literacy environment, the higher the skill level.
For many children in Indonesia, the gift of books truly is a gift of hope and I've always wanted to support any kind of action related to help children who otherwise would not attend school by supplying educational materials to reduce or eliminate education costs simply by giving them a book.
After watching the video, I couldn’t agree more with their vision about books. The book indeed plays a vital role as the source of knowledge in which by giving more books, we are providing more opportunity for Indonesian children to a more BETTER (#LebihBaik) and RICHER knowledge.
I have done mine! and you can also take part in this mission simply by checking out this link and help donate for #BukuUntukIndonesia project. This project aims to promote and improve the literacy of children in the surrounding area in Indonesia, enhancing their ability and comfort to use books for information and knowledge. For the rest of their lives, they will have access to all of the accumulated knowledge of mankind, access to all of the great minds and ideas of the past and present to help them become better #LebihBaik.
Well, there is a long road ahead to end Illiteracy or even poverty in Indonesia but by doing this small action, we can fundamentally help these children in accessing books. The future lies in the hand of children and the solution starts with the children. Improving their live mean improving their community and books has the power to benefit them in a myriad of ways.
Lastly, thank you for reading this post. I hope it would beneficially worth your time to read and encourage you in many ways as well as to nurture, to prepare, and to support Indonesia’s next leader, the children.