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PRIMUS Child Foundation

What’s been happening at the YUM Community Library

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Background

The first ever library in Cipanas was established by Yayasan Usaha Mulia to provide books and quality education to the children of the community. The majority of Cipanas’s population are farmers and seasonal workers who cannot afford the luxury of books and educational resources.

Considering that reading has never been part of Indonesian culture, finding a library in a big city is tough enough let alone in a small village like Cipanas. As the world becomes increasingly global, the fear of being left behind is real in rural places where education is more luxury than need. That was the basis of the founding of the YUM community library.

Updates

In August 2012, PRIMUS Child Foundation came on board to support YUM’s library focusing on early childhood development. The project quickly took off and by early September, renovation works on the pre-school and toys library began. Qualified teachers were also recruited and essential materials were purchased (books, toys, furniture).

On the 2nd of October, the YUM community library was officially launched. The launch was a festive affair where children, parents and YUM staff members came together to celebrate with games, performances and contests. It was a fun-filled day indeed.

The YUM community library then went into full swing, opening daily from 8AM to 5PM. With more than 5000 types of books and magazines, the library caters to 1700 monthly visitors with 63% of them consisting of primary students.

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The YUM community library is more than just a traditional library – it doubles up as a creative learning center as well. Here’s a look at what’s been happening:

1) Library’s daily activities

Monday Play which happens every Monday (naturally) is games day where educational games like quizzes, word chains, jumping alphabets, charades, snakes and ladders are played.

Tuesday Creation is creative day where the little ones are encouraged to use their young minds to build stuff from everyday objects like discarded milk cartons. Activities include mask making, lego building and aquarium building.

Wednesday Discovery is a day where the kids are invited to learn and simply talk about their favourite things – books, cartoons, their surroundings, whatever! It is also movie day and educational shows are screened on this day too.

Thursday Writing as you guessed it, is writing day! The kids are encouraged to write anything they want, from their favourite superheroes to what they want to be when they grow up. Writing is highly encouraged to teach them how to express themselves.

Great Friday is talent show day where the children are taught to dance, both traditional and modern style.

Saturday Action is when the children get together to clean the YUM village area. This activity helps foster a sense of awareness of the environment and the importance of working together.

Sunday Fun doubles up as saving and sports day. The little ones are encouraged to put aside their pocket money in order to learn about the importance of saving. It is also sports day. Football, aerobics, dancing and healthy walks are organized to end a fun-filled week.

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These activities are theme based and changes every month. Topics are rotated monthly and will cover issues such as the environment, animals, patriot heroes and other general knowledge topics.

2) English Club

English, being one of the most important languages in the world is taught to the children of Cipanas. Language strengthening activities such as writing, acting, spelling bee, scrabble, monopoly, quizzes and internet learning are organized for a group of 18 children.

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3) Dancing and musical instrument playing

This is perhaps everyone’s favourite activity at the YUM library. Every Saturday and Sunday, dance classes are taught by our very own YUM Staff who happen to be talented dancers as well. There are roughly 5 groups of traditional dance students and about 10 groups of modern dance students. There is also collaboration with a school in Cibadak to teach their students Jaipong (a traditional dance from West Java). These students will have the opportunity to showcase their talents during YUM events.

4) Nutritional and Health Education

The Nutritional and Health Educational Program focuses on hygiene – the kids are taught the importance of tooth brushing, hand washing and basic hygiene rules. This health class is conducted every Thursday and the children are exposed to movies and games related to this.

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A milk program also takes place 3 times a week. Milk is distributed to all 35 to 45 children at the library. Library visitors who suffer from malnourishment too are not left out. As of today, about 5 kids visit us daily to get their daily dosage of nourishment.

“I’m very happy with the tooth brushing program because it’s very difficult to get Nazwa (3 years old) to brush her teeth. But because of this program, she will want to do it; maybe because she is doing it with her friends. I hope that with this program, she will understand the importance of personal hygiene and will do it at home willingly too.” – Nazwa’s mother.

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5) Toys Library

The YUM Toys Library opens daily from 13:00 to 17:00. The toy library is the star attraction and kids are always eager to visit but due to space constraint (it can only house 10 kids), they are scheduled accordingly. The toy library registers more than 500 visitors monthly with more than 53% of them being in the early childhood stage.

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6) Book Drive

In order to expand our reach beyond just the physical library, this program was conceived where books are packed in boxes and shipped out to schools in Cipanas on a monthly basis. There are currently 4 schools on the receiving list – Mitra Bhakti Elementary School, Tarigu Elementary School, Padarincang Elementary School and Ar Roji Pre-school. Not stopping there, the YUM team also conducts skill improvement training for teachers, the most recent being computer classes held in February 2013.

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7) Pre-School

YUM also operates a pre-school with a total of 43 young students. They are divided into 4 classes according to their age. The chart below explains the class schedule:

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Foregoing the traditional style of teaching, the kids are taught using a fun and attractive learning method. Mixes of indoor and outdoor games are carried out to stimulate creativity and motor skills. Examples are finger painting, play dough, drawings, colouring, literacy and numeracy recognition while outdoor activities consist of aerobics, pouring water in bottle, harvesting at YUM’s organic farm and sporting activities.

Our method of teaching has certainly sparked interest in learning from the children. This is seen from the behavioral changes of the kids where they’ve begun to dress neatly and even showing up for classes when it’s not their turn.

“I’m very thankful for Silvi’s (3.7 years old) development progress since she started attending YUM’s pre-school. She has become a confident and independent child. She is no longer shy and loves socializing with people around the neighbourhood. She has developed a love for singing and is quick to answer questions asked to her. She’s also become very expressive and loves sharing stories of what she does at the pre-school with her dad : Siti – mother”

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8) Creativity Day

With the help of PRIMUS Child Foundation, YUM organized a Creativity Day from 17th to 20th December 2012. Over 150 children from the ages of 3 to 16 attended the event. Activities include games, dancing, fashion shows and more. Mothers were not left out too as a health workshop was also organized for their benefit.

The event, held during the school holidays, drew a large crowd of enthusiastic children – the dance competition had 13 groups of eager dancers. It was a fun filled event and the next one will take place in March 2013.

In Summary

With the support of PRIMUS Child Foundation, YUM has been able to improve and enhance the programs conceived for the children of Cipanas. Receiving over 1700 visitors monthly, it is only natural that the library continues to grow its catalogue of learning materials. PRIMUS Child Foundation’s assistance is paramount in developing YUM’s community library and in turn, shape the future of the children of Cipanas.

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