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IAR Indonesia, in collaboration with Taman Baca Inovator, (TBI) opens first community library in Pematang Gadung village

IAR Indonesia has completed the project preparation with Taman Baca Inovator (TBI) Indonesia to support orangutan conservation and environmental preservation in Pematang Gadung village, with the opening of the community library named after Alfred Russel Wallace. A ceremony was held for stakeholders such as Camat, Chief of Matan Hilir Selatan sub district, the Chief of local police, the Head of Pematang Gadung village, the Headmasters of Elementary and Junior high schools, the Director of IAR Indonesia and Operational Manager of TBI Indonesia. In line with the commitment of Taman Baca Inovator to help improve the quality of education in Indonesia, TBI provides books for the area which was in urgent need of some assistance. IAR Indonesia is also hoping the library will enhance awareness of environmental protection in Pematang Gadung. “One way of providing good, accurate information about animal protection such as slow lorises and orangutans is to give people access to resources in the library. We hope that these facilities will  be an investment in the children in the surrounding area so that they always care about orangutan conservation in Pematang Gadung,” said Yessy Chandara, Operational Manager of TBI Indonesia.

The event also gave Camat the opportunity to deliver his thoughts about this very first project in Ketapang, in fact in West Kalimantan as a whole. “I really support this project as the education centre in Pematang Gadung, so that the children will always have positive activities here,” said Rahmad Rohadi, Camat of Matan Hilir Selatan. In agreement with Camat, the Head of Pematang Gadung village expressed his happiness and high hopes for this library to become an alternative educational room for his village.

Along with the ceremonial event, visits were made by the Camat and the ranks of his government to a room designed by IAR’s education team, assisted by Pematang Gadung. So far there have been 250 titles of books donated by TBI Indonesia and this number will increase, particularly for books that discuss community empowerment and safeguarding the environment. "We are very appreciative of TBI and several other friends like Ibu Lina who helped to establish this library. Knowledge is very important for the progress of the village of Pematang Gadung and also to provide opportunities for the children of Pematang Gadung,” said Karmele, Director of IAR’s Indonesia Programme.

Joining the opening ceremony were Pongo Rangers, a community built up by IAR Indonesia in Pematang Gadung Village. They conveyed their environmental message through artistic performance in the form of poetry, malay dance and tree theatre. The audience consisted of children from elementary and junior high school who were very enthusiastic about attending the opening.

In the future, the library will be the main space for environmental education activities carried out in the village of Pematang Gadung, including the activities of Pongo Rangers. It is also a means of supporting IAR programmes that have been running in Pematang Gadung, both educational programmes, as well as community empowerment such as bio-gas, organic farming and ecotourism, particularly for the provision of access to information related to the implemented programme.

It is expected that the reading interest of children and society will increase with the opening of this library. In addition, it can be an alternative place to carry out education in Pematang Gadung. In the long term, TBI is also prepared to provide the information needed by the community from general knowledge to special knowledge such as eco-friendly organic farming and ecotourism potential.