The residents of a crowded neighborhood in West Jakarta’s Jatipulo subdistrict have initiated efforts to transform into a “literacy kampung”, with the support of the city administration.
According to local leader Berman Saragih, 64, the residents of community unit (RW) 08 officially launched the literacy kampung in August 2019, following worries that many young children disliked reading and spent most of their time playing games or watching videos on their smartphones.
Five book-sharing boxes have been installed along the narrow alleys of RW 08, where most of the residents are informal workers. The books are maintained by the neighborhood unit (RT), and can be read for free.
Every day after school, the children take turns reading the books, which have been donated by the community and the West Jakarta Library.
The program seems to be working, with some of the elementary-aged children complaining that they were bored of reading the same books over and over again. They are now hoping that new titles will be donated to the collection, since their parents cannot afford to buy books. [kes]