SDI Macan Tanggar is 1,5 hour away from Labuan Bajo, the capital of West Manggarai Regency. The road access to this school is pretty damaged and rocky. The school is located on top of the hill, and we pass local transmigrations housings before getting to the school.
During rainy season, the school can only be reached by 4 wheel drive cars because of the muddy road. The school has no access to electricity and limited access to phone network. “This school is a remote school located in the heart of the capital of West Manggarai Regency,” said the Principal of SDI Macan Tanggar, Maksimus Mujur.
On Tuesday morning, the bright sky enlivened the inauguration of the 45th library in SDI Macan Tanggar, Komodo Sub-district, West Manggarai Regency. The guests are the Founder of Rainbow Reading Gardens, Nila Tanzil, the representative from Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, Dewi Utama Fayza, representative of Room to Read, Syaifulloh as well as those representing the Education, Youth and Sport Agency of West Manggarai, Adrianus Hamut, who also acts of the Head of UPTD of Komodo Sub-District
Guests were welcomed by a line of little warriors from Macan Tanggar. Their shining smiles and eyes show the future of this nation. Children lined up by their classes. After that, a female teacher stood before them and led them to sing national songs as well as Manggarai songs. The festivity was wrapped up by motivating chants.
As if being welcomed by the kids was not enough, we were greeted traditionally by the elders of Macan Tanggar village. The ceremony is part of the ritual to welcome guests, while appreciating and accepting the guests as part of the society. The ceremony was marked by a bottle of beer or traditional arak, a white rooster, cigarette, and some money. The elders greeted in Manggarai language, welcoming us as part of the family.
According to the principal, children and teachers of SDI Macan Tanggar have been practicing traditional dances and poetry reading for weeks. Parents and community also got involved in preparing for the inauguration ceremony. Children wearing traditional Manggarai costume were seen busy preparing for the performance. Meanwhile, parents and some teachers were busy preparing for the meals and drinks.
I tracked back to 6 months ago when I was surveying the school for the library development program by Rainbow Reading Gardens. The library used to be an unused classroom. However, Rainbow Reading Gardens came to mentor SDI Macan Tanggar in establising a child-friendly library at the school. With strong commitment and collaboration among all stakeholders around Macan Tangagr area, the library is finally set up!
Now, children of SDI Macan Tanggar can visit their own child-friendly library. Hundreds of story books fulfilled with knowledge and inspiration are available in the library.
Children of SDI Macan Tanggar are now ready to widen their horizons and make the world a better place through books. Happy reading and go build your dreams!
Macan Tanggar, 21 February 2017.