Indonesian school children especially in rural communities have limited access to reading material and so libraries have never been seen as a place to spend leisure time. Unfortunately, this has been mainly due to a lack of funding in the area. In October 2016, Mr Sukanto Tanoto, through the Tanoto Foundation set out to change this by building a children’s library in the area of Dumai, Riau.
The building of the library was an opportunity to create a comfortable and welcoming space for children to discover the real joy of reading for pleasure. According to the GoRiau news site, this has gone a long way towards making libraries less “scary” for young students.
Discovering the joy of reading
The library has already attracted many children and shown them that reading is a great recreational activity. With so much to read about and a safe and secure environment, children feel comfortable spending a great deal of time here.
The reading for fun concept has already been implemented in the Ward Elementary School in Aceh with great success, and the Tanoto Foundation, founded by Mr Sukanto Tanoto, plans to roll out further library building projects in a variety of other schools in the Dumai area in the upcoming months.
Student uptake is evidence of the success of these libraries
Leaners have responded well to the introduction of recreational libraries, which is testimony in itself for the Tanoto Foundation’s vision of bringing improved education and spurring on a greater interest to learn and discover within the Indonesian community. This is just one of many educational upliftment programs and projects that the Tanoto Foundation and the RGE Group of companies are actively involved in. Making a difference and giving back to the community is what it is all about and Mr Sukanto Tanoto and his associated companies are certainly doing just that.