Board Visit Bali Journey 2023: Impact and Collaboration for Indonesia

It was a bright day at SD 6 Sumerta and SD 7 Peguyangan as students lined up in the school yard to welcome Room to Read Global Board Members. The board members were visiting two of 500 project schools in Indonesia as part of their Board Visit Bali Journey 2023, which took place from May 9-12, 2023 in Denpasar, Bali.

This highly anticipated Board Visit Bali Journey 2023 began with great enthusiasm as Room to Read’s Global Board Members and guests embarked on a meaningful journey to explore the impact of Room to Read/ProVisi literacy initiatives in Indonesia. This event provides an opportunity for the guests to get wider perspectives of the child-friendly library and book development program by engaging directly with implementing partners and schools. This collaboration fosters positive change in education and literacy.

During the four-day journey, participants engaged with key community stakeholders, met with implementing partners, and interacted closely with children and teachers in partner schools. 

The journey began on Tuesday, May 9, with a warm welcome reception and dinner at the picturesque Hyatt Regency Sanur, the main hotel for the event. On Wednesday, May 10, the participants embarked on a series of impactful activities, starting with a visit to SD 6 Sumerta and SD 7 Peguyangan. This program, implemented since 2014, ensures that students have access to high-quality children’s books, fostering essential skills and a love for reading. During the school visit, participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a child-friendly library and interact with students through reading activities. They also gained insights from school staff and parents community about the invaluable role of the library in enhancing education at the school and district levels. 

This invaluable school visit experience then followed with a meeting with Dr. Iwan Syahril, Ph.D. Director General of Early Childhood Education, Primary Education and Secondary Education MoECRT. Dr. Iwan Syahril, Ph.D. provided updates on the state of education in Indonesia and highlighted Room to Read’s support for the national education agenda. He mentioned that Room to Read’s initiative is in line with the literacy map and the 23rd Episode Merdeka Learning program: Quality Reading Books for Literacy in Indonesia. He believes that this initiative will bring us closer to our common goal of reaching more children as the main beneficiaries.

The following day, all participants were invited to a programmatic experience session focused on children’s book development and child-friendly library development programs in Indonesia.  The session featured special guests who enriched the discussions and experiences, including notable figures such as Imelda Naomi, author, Wastana Haikal, illustrator and Remon Agus, publisher, who shared their expertise and insights. In addition, Sylvester Bea, principal of SDK Bokogo, and Widyati Usman, teacher of SDI Waemburung, both from Room to Read’s partner schools in Nagekeo, provided first hand accounts of the impact of Room to Read’s programs. Chandra Bhakti, representative of Taman Bacaan Pelangi (Room to Read’s  implementing partner), added regional perspectives to the discussion. This unique opportunity provided valuable insights into Room to Read’s programs from the involved stakeholders.

Room to Read, a non-profit organization based in the United States, together with ProVisi Mandiri Pratama as their affiliate partner in Indonesia, focuses on literacy programs in several provinces across Indonesia. The Board Visit Bali Journey 2023 is one of many agendas conducted by Room to Read/ProVisi to increase awareness about literacy development in Indonesia. The event was successfully organized in collaboration with Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia, Room to Read’s implementing partner in Bali.

With more than 30 Board Members attending the event, Board Visit Bali Journey 2023 showcases the commitment and dedication of Room to Read and its partners to transform education and empower children through literacy. As the event unfolds, Room to Read and its partners will continue to explore innovative approaches, while ProVisi’s unique operational model in Indonesia stands.