Do you know that Sulawesi is the main source of patchouli oil in the world? Patchouli oil is one of the essential ingredients for perfumes, essential oils, and the likes.
Taman Bacaan Pelangi (Rainbow Reading Gardens) is happy to collaborate with Givaudan Foundation, which is the NGO of the Givaudan, a leading company who produces perfumery and flavors in the world. Through this partnership, we are able to establish a child-friendly library in Katoi, Southeast Sulawesi, one of the areas where Givaudan buys patchouli directly from the farmers.
When Givaudan contacted us to explore about their interest in partnering with us and dropped the area name of Katoi, I was like, “Katoi? Where is that?” Never heard about this place yet! They started telling me about Katoi and from the explanation, this place sounded quite remote!
It took us quite a long journey to reach this place. From Makassar, we needed to take another flight to Pomala. The airport was small, there was only one conveyer belt, just like any other small airports in remote After that, the journey continued for another 5-6 hours by car to get to Katoi in Southeast Sulawesi on the road that would make your head dizzy.
Our Strategic Expansion Specialist, Monica Harahap, had spent a few months living in Katoi to set up a library in SDN 1 Katoi. Working together with the teachers and parents, Monik, that’s how we called her, had successfully created a colorful library for the children who studied at this school. Not only that, a capacity building workshop for the school principal, teachers, and librarians was also conducted to transfer our knowledge on library management system and reading activities program, to ensure the sustainability of our library.
After months of preparation, finally, the library’s ready to be launched!
On April 21st, 2018, on the Kartini’s Day, we inaugurated our 82nd library in SDN 1 Katoi, Southeast Sulawesi! Huurrraayyy!!
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Assistant Regency of North Kolaka Mr. Yunus, Head of Procurement & Head of Sustainability of Givaudan Mr Willem Mutsearts, Head of Origination of Givaudan Mr Olivier Fallet, President Director of PT Givaudan Indonesia Mr Fernando Balmori, representative of the Education Office of North Kolaka District, the School Principal of SDN 1 Katoi Ms Rahmania, teachers, parents, and myself as the Founder of our organization.
It was such a festive day. We witnessed students’ traditional dance performance, which was always our favorite!
During the opening ceremony, using the phrase “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader”, Mr Willem Mutsearts, the Head of Procurement & Head of Sustainability of Givaudan in his speech, encouraged the kids to read the books provided at the Taman Bacaan Pelangi library in this school.
The Assistant Regency of North Kolaka District Mr Yunus in his speech said, “We hope other companies working in our district would follow Givaudan’s steps in helping our children and the local communities”.
The library itself has immediately become students’ favorite spot. The School Principal Ms. Rahmania said, “The kids are so happy with the new library. We actually already let the kids to visit the library and every day, they do not want to leave the library room. We even have to tell them to go home!”
Ahhh… that’s music to my ear! Knowing that the kids enjoy reading at the library is definitely one of the things we want to achieve in our mission!
On behalf of Taman Bacaan Pelangi, we thank Givaudan for such a great support and partnership. We’re so happy that now the kids of the patchouli farmers in Katoi have access to great children’s story books!! Hopefully they would all become book worms and have reading habits! Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!
By Nila Tanzil