News / Asia

US Charity Brings Books to Indonesian Children

Charity Brings Books to Indonesian Children

x
Charity Brings Books to Indonesian Childreni
|| 0:00:00
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 05, 2012 10:14 PM
The American-based charity "The World is Just a Book Away" is making a difference in Indonesia by building libraries for children and their families. And as VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, the non-profit organization's founder wants to share his love of reading with communities in the developing world.

Charity Brings Books to Indonesian Children

Mike O'Sullivan
LOS ANGELES - The American-based charity The World is Just a Book Away is making a difference in Indonesia by building libraries for children and their families. The founder of the non-profit organization, business professor James Owens, wants to share his love of reading with communities in the developing world.

Children devour words and pictures in the newly opened library at a school in Padang, in Western Sumatra.  Books are a luxury in Padang, and fifth-grade student Fiolisa Anggraini is pleased to see so many.

“What I like most from this new library is the books, good books ...  They really can improve my knowledge,” Anggraini said.

The liberary is one of dozens The World is Just a Book Away has built in Indonesia since 2009 in Padang, Sidoarjo, and on the island of Bali.  The latest opened last month.

The World is Just a Book Away's founder, James Owens, says children in Indonesia, as in other developing countries, have plenty of talent but few resources.

“They go to school, they learn and they are very smart.  They do not have access to books, history and fables and stories and science, that can really spark their imagination and let them dream,” Owens said.

Each library costs between $5,000 and $10,000.   At the University of Southern California, where Owens teaches, students held a five-kilometer charity run in March and raised $8,000 for the Padang library.  Additional funds came from the organization's national branch.  Psychology student Stephanie Wetzel belongs to the group of campus supporters.

“We take reading so for granted here, and I think that people really want the opportunity to be able to give reading literacy to other children who do not have that,” Wetzel said.

In Padang, teacher and headmaster Amril Lasmana says the library has made a difference in the lives of the children.

“The enthusiasm, interest, and motivation of our students in learning increased.  The library building has been renewed.  And now, it is in good and clean condition, so it motivates our students to study,” Lasmana said.

A mobile library in Padang and another in Sidoarjo extend the reach of the program to many other schools.

Fifth-grade student Lisa Andriyani Putri thinks the new library will help develop her mind and character.

“I am very happy with this new library.  It makes me want to keep studying, so I can be a good person in future,” Putri said.

Back in California, The World is Just a Book Away Executive Director Robert Lucas helps connect donors with the projects the charity finances.  He says funds raised in the United States go far in Indonesia.

“We can buy one book for $1 in Indonesia.  So the one-to-one ratio there is a very attractive way to get people involved in supporting the organization and what we are trying to do,” Lucas said.

Some Indonesian libraries have been named after noted supporters, including the entertainer Cher, actor Liam Neeson, naturalist Jane Goodall and South African peace activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The World is Just a Book Away has built 49 libraries for Indonesian children and 26 libraries for their parents.  The organization will launch a program in Mexico this year.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid