Capital Corner


    Windows To The World

      1-10-2016
     

    Windows To The World

    Windows To The World

    A student is showing off his artwork.

    Windows To The World

    Windows To The World

    Students at the Serpong Library are studying among the greenery.
    Windows To The World

    Windows To The World
    A student is showing off his artwork.

    Windows To The World

    Windows To The World
    Students at the Serpong Library are studying among the greenery.

    Jendela Jakarta us striving to give underprivileged children in Jakarta access to books, which according to an old saying in Indonesia are the windows to the world...

    Jakarta is like a two-sided coin when it comes to books. As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta gives everyone easy access to a limitless choice of books, but at the same time, buying a book is not a privilege that everyone can share, especially the middle and lower social classes, since the prices are more expensive as compared to other regions in Indonesia. This is what motivated the founders of Jendela Jakarta to work together to provide good books for underprivileged children who mostly live in the slum areas...

    A Movement Born
    According to Jendela Jakarta Public Relations Coordinator Wilda Mulyaningsih, Jendela Jakarta was born from the Jendela Community, a national social movement that was founded by several students of the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. This social movement initially aimed to provide a mini library for the children refugees from the Mount Merapi eruption back in 2011.

    The pilot project took place in Cangkringan and, to their surprise, the people of Yogyakarta supported this movement, even after the people have left the shelters. Some of the founders then left Yogyakarta for other cities, including Jakarta where they found the same problem; that there are so many unfortunate children who don’t have access to books. So the Jendela Community established their first library in Jakarta in 2012.

    They founded their first library in Manggarai in South Jakarta, after a much consideration on the location and, of course, permission from the local thugs. After Manggarai, two more libraries were established, the Sungai Bambu Library in North Jakarta and the Serpong Library in South Tangerang in Banten. Each library has its own characteristics. The Manggarai Library holds classes in a residential area, while the Sungai Bambu Library conducts classes under a highway flyover. Meanwhile, the children at the Serpong Library are from a rural area and usually study in a hut surrounded by rice fields.

    The Jendela Community is also spreading its spirit of providing libraries for underprivileged children in other cities in Indonesia such as Bandung in West Java, Malang and Jember in East Java, Medan and Siantar in North Sumatra, Bengkalis in Riau, Bangka in the Bangka Belitung Islands and Bandar Lampung in Lampung. Each of these libraries have been established by volunteers who have moved to the area.

    A Library Visit
    It was 2 p.m. on a sunny Saturday when I visited the Manggarai Library, where the children read and study on the weekends from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and I was eager to join one of their activities. Wilda showed up at the library during my visit and took me to a special class conducted by a volunteer. Jendela Jakarta welcomes volunteers from different backgrounds, and these volunteers can give special classes to share their knowledge to the children. That day, the children in the class I visited were going to learn about robots. Other days, they learn about things like the military, marines, or even cooking.

    The library is actually a modest 3x3 meter room with a wooden wall, located in a permanent building. Inside the library there is a simple bookshelf made of iron that displays rows of books. It is in this library that the children join their regular classes and read books accompanied by the volunteers. The children are split up into two or three groups because the reading material for the elementary students is different from the high school students. They also often study just outside the library or, better yet, at a small park in front of the library.

    Jendela Jakarta receives books from donations, both from individuals and corporations – many of the companies donate books as a part of their social corporate responsibility program. The books that Jendela Jakarta accepts are non-fiction as they aim to enrich the children’s knowledge, although fiction books are also welcome to entertain the children.

    Fun Programs
    Aside from their regular classes, Jendela Jakarta also organizes a monthly activity called “One Day One Trip” where five children from Manggarai, Sungai Bambu and Serpong Library are taken on a tour to visit an educational site in Jakarta, from museums to the Planetarium. Every child has their turn alternately, and those who go on the tour have to share their experience with the others in the library.

    Another regular activity is the “Kakak Asuh” program, which aims to invite donors to help pay the children’s tuition fee. One “Kakak Asuh” or one donor will help one child. The amount of the donation varies between elementary, junior and senior high school students. The donor will receive a report about the student’s academic development every three months to see the progress of the child. Moreover, each of the children will also make a One Month One Book report by describing the book they read in that month.

    Jendela Jakarta also has a mobile library that goes around to other parts of Jakarta. This October, this community is celebrating their anniversary by hosting an event together with other communities that focus on different aspects yet are still in line with Jendela Jakarta, such as the Bank Sampah (Trash Bank) Community, Jakarta Traditional Game Community, and the Kite Community. Those communities hopefully will help the children in Jendela Jakarta improve their creativity.

    The Volunteers
    One of the highlights during my visit was surely the remarkable volunteers. Jendela Jakarta has around 50 active volunteers that assist around 120 children. Most of these volunteers work in corporate companies in Jakarta, but they work really well together as a team. The volunteers guide the children during reading time and help them understand the essence of the books. Sometimes they also create some fun learning methods to help the children study.

    The volunteers meet once in every two months to support each other and set a benchmark to see if their efforts are succeeding. It is when the children want to read books on their own and being more well behaved, which may take time but will eventually change.


    By Edna Tarigan

     
    Edna Tarigan

       Contributor : Edna Tarigan


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