Sparking the Magic of Reading in Indonesia

With the support of the IKEA Foundation, Room to Read, ProVisi Education and our local partners embarked on an exciting project in Indonesia. Over three years, we're building the capacity of 100 local writers and illustrators in Indonesia, as well as creating and publishing at least 60 new children’s book titles. One of these incredible books recently won the 2018 Islamic Book Award for Best Illustration! 

The project aims to support the Ministry of Education and Culture's National Literacy Movement. Through this project, we are creating at least 420,000 copies of culturally-relevant children’s books and distributing them to more than 4,000 schools across Indonesia. We are also establishing 156 school libraries across three regions of the country in collaboration with our local partners: Mutiara Rindang, Taman Bacaan Pelangi and Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia.

Watch: Room to Read in Indonesia

By the Numbers: Room to Read's Indonesia Project

60 — new original titles produced

100 — authors and illustrators involved in the project

9 — Indonesian publishing houses

156 — school libraries established over three years

42,000 — children reached

420,000 — books distributed to 4,000 schools in Indonesia

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“Since the Room to Read workshop, students and teachers have much stronger relationships. This library has children excited to learn.”

Hiro Librarian, SDI Waenakeng

Why Indonesia?

With more than 17,000 islands and 700 languages in Indonesia, culturally-relevant storybooks and engaging literacy instruction are both incredibly important. Quality children’s books aren’t readily available in many parts of the country and only 46 percent of primary schools have a library. Together our network of partners aims to change that.

To make these new local language books a reality, our Southeast Asia Regional book publishing expert, Alfredo Santos, facilitated author and illustrator workshops in collaboration with our partners in Indonesia and shared what makes an engaging storybook for children so special. From there came 60 new titles created in partnership with local publishers including: Pelangi Mizan, Kanisius Publishing, Bestari Publishing, Noura Books, Puspa Swara, BIP, Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia and the Litara Foundation.

Paving the Way for Systemic Change

Room to Read and ProVisi Education partnered with local publishers to teach Indonesian authors and illustrators best practices for making engaging storybooks. These workshops not only created the 60 titles that landed in students' hands, but extended valuable insight to help the local community continue spreading the magic of reading throughout Indonesia after the project's completion.

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Training Indonesian Teachers, Librarians, Authors & Illustrators

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“After the workshop, I encouraged my students to go to the library and read books. They are willing to stay longer in the library even if it is time to go home. They are so excited whenever I read books for them, especially when I read the story with a good expression just like I did in the workshop."

– Beataf Fiony Irawati, Grade 2 teacher in West Manggarai

At Least 420,000 Books Reaching Indonesian Students

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"As a mother, I'm so happy to see my daughter bringing home books. She says, 'Mommy by reading this book we don't have to go to another country to learn about it.'"

– Wina, parent of a primary school-aged child in East Java

Making the Library the Most Coveted Space in School

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“The children are excited because all of the books are great. The children come to the library every day. Before the program is implemented, the library was so quiet because no one wanted to visit. The parents are also so happy with it. Sometimes they come early for pick up to visit the library."

– Detty Kristika Dewi, primary school librarian in Kuta, Bali

Just the Beginning

What's the best part about our project in Indonesia? It's far from over! We've got an incredibly exciting addition underway with and you're not going to want to miss it.

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Help More Children

Help us ensure that every child has access to books in their own language. These stories help unlock the science and magic of reading to create life-long learners.

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Go Behind the Scenes

IKEA Foundation recently took #IWITNESS trips to see the impact of their generous donation. Check out our Instagram Story of their experience!

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Let's Keep Doing Good Things Together

Our work is not done. Millions of children still lack the great books, teachers and support they need. Just US$25 puts mother tongue books in the hands of 25 children.

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