English for Journalism member, Department of English Education, University of Kuningan, Indonesia
Reading is unseparated part of human activity in daily life . everyone should read as their daily needs of life, but the context of Indonesian society reading isn’t become the primary needs yet, especially those in remote area. This issue pursue me and my brother to start establishing reading community in order to pursue reading habit among society. The idea has huge challenge from the society, it deals with how we attract people attention to make them start thinking reading is a life needs. We call our reading community by “Hipapelnis”
It has been three years since me and my brother started the reading community in my lovely Village Kalimanggis ,one of village in the northern of Kuningan. l would describe what we did during last three years. Let’s get started by the challenge, the fist challenge appears is how do we start the community, we start by recruiting few people in my village as the member of the community to help us to spread reading spirit. We recruit few people as volunteer and few as young teacher (Pengajar Muda) I pick my self as teacher and my brother asked few of his friend to help as well to teach and lead the activities every Sunday morning .
Another problem we faced at the beginning was the book and the facilities to support the reading community program . we trying to solve the problem by starting the program with the facilities available. We used the gazebo in the town square of my village as the base camp and we use the book from donation to support our program of activities. Our program is concern with children to habituate children to read , most of member in this reading community aged 3 to 15 years old from various level school level. The member only comes from the surrounding of the basecamp and it keeps increase day by day.
At the beginning we only have one full box of books. As time goes on we trying to increase the number of book collection we have trough several ways. We keep posting whole activities of the reading community regularly , it aims to promote the activities and introduce the program to the society , as it keeps being posted in social media more people getting know the reading community and few are questioning what is reading community ? in this phase we have successfully attract people attention. Some of them are interested to create the similar program in their village and some of the told me they are willing to donate some books for our community.
As the name of Hipapelnis getting more popular among people in Kuningan, we use this opportunity to develop the community aiming to expand our facilities to support the program , we are starting to send some proposal to few people and institution in order to ask for donation. So far, we are not only receive donation in the form of books but also infrastructure . we worked together with some institution to run the programs . one of our best program is GBK (Gerobak baca keliling) trough this program we can expand our scope to facilitate people to read. We are usually come to few are where people has very low level of education .
As time goes on, our programs inspired other people to create the similar programs in their environment, we helped few people to do so in any other village. We worked together to inspire people and attract more people to our program, now we cooperate with some institution and companies to run the programs, trough their CSR we had already few computer and permanent building even more it has been supported by ministry of culture and education of Indonesian republic. In 2017 my Village has been officially inaugurated as Literacy village and got 100 million donation to run the program from government . literacy village is an award given by government to the village or place which has active reading community with standard of government.
Now, Hipapelnis reading community do not only concern with education and reading but we put particular community inside in order to accommodate child hobbies such as forester community, and art community. For me Hipapelnis is not a place to learn but it’s a place to like family to me.