Southern Sumatra opens new branch of libraries

By November 17, 2008

Indonesia (MNN) — An
associate of Partners International opened a branch of libraries in Indonesia.
These new libraries will help supplement formal education in South Sumatra by
offering courses in conversational English and child scholarships. The camat,
or sub-district leader, acknowledged the government's limited resources for
funding of informal education and sees the role of this Partners associate as

"We give our greetings
and full support to the opening of this library, and we hope you will also be
able to open branches in the four surrounding villages," said the camat, in an
opening speech with government officials and library staff present. He strongly
encouraged influential members of the community and village leaders to frequent
the library and tell others about its services.

"The community must
make use of this library and spread the news about it to others."

One of the non-formal
educational courses offered at the library is conversational English. Partners
hosted a "Speak English Day" at the first meeting of a local Teacher's English
Club. Four native speakers from America were brought in, and teachers were very
grateful for the chance to practice their English skills with Americans.

"Developing skills in
conversational English is a high priority for English teachers in Indonesia,"
said the library's director.

Child scholarships are
another facet of the library's outreach. While tuition is free, many families
are poor and unable to pay for school supplies and books. The library's
scholarship program helps cover those costs.

"I am really thankful
for the library scholarship program that helped pay for my schooling," says
nine-year-old Dinda. In her village, it's uncommon for girls to attend school.
Dinda is still uncertain about continuing her future studies. "I have a dream,
but I'm not sure I can reach it."

Dinda's family is very poor.
Her father is a fisherman with uncertain income, and her mother often searches
for oysters in the river to support the family.

"I feel sorry to my
parents working so hard every day," she said. "I want to make [them] proud of
me. I do it by studying hard and being a successful student."

Leave a Reply