In February I was posted in our library in Datak. I’ve been there for three weeks, had activities with the children, opened the library every afternoon and tried to reactivate it. But before I’m going on giving you an update about Datak, I want to introduce myself.
My name is Lukas Dunkake. Last year I graduated from high-school in Darmstadt, Germany and decided to have a gap year, to do a voluntary service. After I was in a social-entrepreneurship project called ‚Transformer Center‘ in Malang, Java for about 5 month, I moved to Flores to work for ‚Taman Bacaan Pelangi‘.
Now that I’m already here for 2 month, I can say, that I am happy about my new placement. It was a great decision to start working for Taman Bacaan Pelangi, because here I can really see the results of my work. I can see that my work really has an impact.
The first library, I worked on, was Datak. During my time there I was introducing a morning schedule, so every class should go to the library at least once a week. At the same time I started opening the library in the afternoon again and I taught english on a daily basis.
The children were highly motivated to go to the library, to read, to draw, to sing, to play, but after my first week there I started to recognize, that the teachers had lost their motivation. Every one of them found excuses not to go into the library, all of them said, their to busy. Not only in the evening but also in the morning during school time. Even if they were in school, they didn’t bring their classes to the library without me pushing them.
I tried to motivate them for several weeks, but I unfortunately, couldn’t change their mindset.
Taman Bacaan Pelangi has been trying to keep this library and give it a second change by sending me to Datak, to run the library programs and other activities. But, to make the library sustainable, it really depends on the commitment of the local people. And after living there for a month, I noticed that their commitment hasn’t changed a bit. This is such a shame.
So, it is in the agreement between Taman Bacaan Pelangi and the school in Datak in the beginning where they opened this library. If the local community could not commit to run the library programs and take care of the library, then Taman Bacaan Pelangi would close down the library and move it to the other village. This is important for Taman Bacaan Pelangi, because there are so many kids that need access to books and waiting to have a library in their village. If this village couldn’t appreciate the library that they have, then there was no point of having it there.
So Taman Bacaan Pelangi decided to close the library and move the books to another place, where there are teachers who are willingly to help, join, and run the library programs.
After these three weeks in Datak, I moved to Molot Kondo, where we just moved the library from a locals house into the elementary school. During the last 3 weeks we created an amazing place for the children to read and to have fun.
On the 16th March we opened the new library and a new program for the children in Molot Kondo. After opening the new library and introducing a new program , I will give you another update on how the library is going soon.
Molotkondo, March 2016