Library Construction Groundbreaking of Baubau Supported by Kyobo Life Insurance
On 14 August 2022, Gugah Nurani Indonesia, with the Baubau City Government, held a groundbreaking event to symbolize the start of the library building construction project funded by Kyobo Life Insurance of South Korea. This library building is built on owned-land of the government of Baubau City on Jalan Pendidikan, Komplek TK Lea-lea, Lowu-lowu Village, Lea-Lea District, Buton Island, Southeast Sulawesi. This event was attended by Mr. La Ode Ahmad Monianse, the Mayor of Baubau. In addition, the Head of the Regional Libary Office, Head of the Education and Culture Office, members of the electoral council of Lea-Lea District, Head of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and school principals as the direct beneficiaries of this project were also present.
The construction of the library building is one of the contributions of Gugah Nurani Indonesia (hereinafter, GNI) and Kyobo Life Insurance in improving the literacy skills of early childhood and elementary school children in Baubau City. Based on the results of data collection conducted by GNI in 2021, it was found that there were 16,619 children under five in Baubau City, while only 3,235 (19.5%) were registered in PAUD. One of the prominent factors found was this city's limited facilities and infrastructure. Based on government data from 2013 – 2017, the illiteracy population in Southeast Sulawesi Province reached 17.81%. This condition is higher than the national illiteracy rate, which is 15.6%. In addition, by 2020, the data shows that only three of the sixteen elementary schools in Baubau City facilitated a reading corner. Meanwhile, a reading corner or library should be one of the mandatory facilities in every school.
The Baubau City government deliberately chose the Kyobo Library name to appreciate Kyobo Life Insurance, which supported this project. This library is also intended as a center of excellence in education and culture preservation. Various educational and cultural programs will be developed through literacy activities, such as reading competitions, story writing, storytelling, poetry reading, speeches in the Wolio language, scientific writing competitions for teachers, and other activities that support literacy improvement. Improving cultural literacy for children will also be a library program through discussions related to royal history and culture guided by local cultural experts. It is hoped that the next generation will continue to preserve local cultural values and not forget the history of the Buton Kingdom.
The series of activities above are expected to attract the general public, teachers, and students to come and read and be involved with various programs the library will develop. Meanwhile, the concept of a library as a center of excellence is intended for inclusivity. If students can only access the school library, then this library is inclusive and can be accessed by anyone. Thus the reach of increasing literacy for the Baubau community is getting higher.
To ensure the sustainability of the library program, GNI will conduct a series of training for librarians. Meanwhile, through the Baubau city education and culture office, the city government will allocate a budget for the operation and maintenance of the Kyobo library.