Words on Wheels (WoW) Launches in Yogyakarta to Promote Literacy and Foster Singapore-Indonesia Collaboration
The Singapore International Foundation (SIF), together with the Provincial Government Board of Library and Archives of the Special Region of Yogyakarta (BPAD DIY), will bring the signature reading programme to Yogyakarta doubling the number of beneficiaries to 30,000 in Indonesia.
“Education is an area of importance for both Singapore and Indonesia. It is therefore, heartening to see our people working closely with one another to promote learning and reading, especially among our young. SIF’s Words on Wheels is not just a portable source of knowledge for our young; it is also a vehicle of friendship – bringing Indonesians and Singaporeans together to share ideas and cultures through their mutual love for books,” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore, during his speech at the launch ceremony of WoW (Yogyakarta).
The mobile library programme successfully made its debut in Yogyakarta on 13 November 2017 – the second edition in Indonesia following its launch in Bandung in 2015. WoW (Yogyakarta) is expected to benefit over 5,000 students in the city annually till 2020. They will enjoy free access to educational materials in English and Bahasa Indonesia, IT resources and learning facilities. The mobile library will operate four times a week, visiting children from low to middle income families from 10 schools in Yogyakarta including Timuran State Primary School (TSPM) on a rotational basis.
“The mobile library will be a platform to encourage students’ development in literacy activities. We [the staff] will also benefit from the sharing of knowledge by Singaporean volunteers. Hence the programme will not only inspire the students and staff to learn more about the reading culture of Indonesia but also of Singapore,” said TSPM Principal Ms Esti Kartini during the Minister’s visit to her school.
Over the next three years, the SIF aims to engage more than 150 Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) to introduce interactive learning tools for the students as well as training for the BPAD DIY staff and librarians. Additionally, specialist volunteers from the National Library Board, Singapore will conduct training workshops for 30 BPAD DIY staff and local librarians to build their capacities in library management. These trainees will then cascade their new knowledge and skills with their Indonesian peers, to effect sustainable development in enhancing library services with the wider community.
Dr Yaacob and Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta officiated the launch of WoW Yogyakarta in the presence of over 100 guests at the auditorium of Grhatama Pustaka Library. Other Singaporean and Indonesian partners and dignitaries in attendance included Associate Professor Peter Pang, Governor, SIF and Mr Budi Wibowo, Head of the Board of Library and Archives of Yogyakarta.
During his speech, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X said that the WoW programme aims to encourage cross-cultural exchanges to strengthen the friendship between the two countries. It functions as a platform for collaboration between education specialists from Singapore and Yogyakarta. He thanked the SIF and Minister Dr Yaacob for enabling this collaborative effort.
If you would like to volunteer for WoW Yogyakarta or find out more about volunteering opportunities with the SIF, email us to sign up today!