Building a library in Bungaya village Bali
Explain your project in details:
Building a library in Bungaya village Bali. 15 year old Bali teenager Tyas Latra and I (a 16 year old Australian teenager) became friends when I lived in Bali. Tyas loves books and is a student leader. At this time the Indonesian Government mandated that Indonesian children must read for at least 15 minutes a day because their reading skills were not very good. But it is hard for children growing up in a remote village to get access to books for reading so Tyas and I started a project to fund raise to build a library in her village Bungaya. We have been very lucky to get the support of numerous adults, organisations and other teenagers including Librarian Graeme Smith & the students from Immanuel Lutheran College and Mt Creek High School and Rotaract on the Sunshine Coast Queensland where I live. In Bali we have been supported by teenagers from Bali Island School, the Australian Government and Bali International Womens Association. And I have used my business to fund raise and made and sold lots of fairy houses. My little make believe buildings are helping to build a real building, a library in Bungaya village Bali. The library is also a small community centre that includes a bathroom, kitchen and open meeting hall, a Bale. Community education events will be run in the Bale. It will be one of the few buildings in Bali that is fully accessible for persons with disabilities. The library construction and management will be with one of Balis leading NGOs Puspadi Bali who work with people with physical disabilities and run Balis wheelchair program and make artificial legs.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The library has been designed by Journeyman International architects to have a small footprint on the local environment. The library will help to improve the social wellbeing of all 4000 people who live in Bungaya village as it is not just a library but a small community centre. It has the open Bali meeting hall, known as a Bale, where community meetings, education sessions and community activities such as Balinese dancing classes, a very important part of Bali culture, will be held. The library will also contribute to the economic development of the area as by making books available for children and families, it will help to improve the reading skills of children, so they will get a better education, especially girls and then go on to get better jobs and help to lift their families out of poverty.
Sustainability and future plans
With the library construction almost finished, now Tyas and I are looking for organisations who would like to help us provide the books for the library. And, I will keep making lots of fairy houses to fund raise. We have been able to gain most of the English books we need but now we need Indonesian books, especially early readers for children, to help develop their reading skills. The library will hold between 2000 and 4000 books depending on the thickness of the books. To enthuse the children and encourage a love of reading, a program of weekly regular visits by the local schools will be set up. Also poetry reading competitions and spelling competitions will be held at the library. Many different community education programs will be held in the Bale at the library complex and as an example, will include sessions on topics such as recycling because rubbish is a big problem in Bali and on identifying symptoms of diabetes. Diabetes is a very fast growing problem in Bali and within 5 years of being diagnosed with diabetes, people have their first amputation, usually part of their leg. So even though Tyas and I have listed just 2 of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals relating to reading and education, our library complex will address many more of the SDGs. And we are very proud that as 2 young teenage girls we have been able to work together to build the bridge of friendship between our countries and to potentially change the lives of over 4000 people.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
When I was 12 my teacher called my mum in for a meeting. My reading and writing was below the national average and the teacher said mum needed to encourage me to write more. So as a start mum encouraged me to write out all the designs for the fairy houses I was makeing. It turned out there were no childrens craft books teaching children how to make fairy houses so a publisher actually wanted to publish my book and so at 12 years of age I became a published author. After this I started to do a free fairy house class in a local library every school holidays to thank the libraries for stocking my book and from this parents started asking me to come to their houses to do a fairy house birthday party for their child. And so at 13, I became a small business owner. When I lived in Bali for 2 years I used my business as a social enterprise to raise money to help the Balinese people and also the street dogs and cats of Bali. And I became friends with Tyas and so our project to build a library in her village Bungaya came about. It was a fit with me because I already had an established relationship with libraries in Australia who stocked my book.