Strengthen Families

Empowering Children Through "Literacy Terrace" - A Family's Journey of Volunteerism in Indonesia

Wairimu Mwangi
August 8, 2023

‘Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.’ ~Kofi Annan

In March of this year, Muhammad Rafli, a young man from a small village in Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia, embarked on a heart-warming volunteer project called "Literacy Terrace" to promote literacy among children in his community. While growing up, Rafli, who is a Sunshine Family Volunteers coordinator, experienced a scarcity of access to books, and this experience propelled him to improve the situation in his village. Upon his return to his community after completing his Law Studies, Rafli and his family transformed their home's terrace into a reading haven for children, aiming to ignite their interest in reading and boost their knowledge.

"Our village doesn't have a library, and when I was a child, getting access to books was difficult," Rafli shared. "So, my family and I decided to create the 'Literacy Terrace' to allow children to explore the world through reading." To date, the Literacy Terrace has opened its doors to over 40 children from 5 villages in the community.

Together with his siblings Halim, Rohman and Rahma, and their parents Buhori and Mimi, Rafli transformed their terrace into a vibrant reading area, using his extensive collection of books and accepting generous book donations from friends and relatives. 

“The reading activities take place once a week, every Sunday morning, with additional access for children during weekdays,” said Rafli depicting his dedication to teaching and engaging the children by creating an exciting and enriching experience for the young readers.

"I feel I have benefited others. Instead of watching Korean dramas all day, I now get to share fairy tales and stories with the children," Rahma shared her reflections on the project.

The project has also sought collective participation from other community members, including Rafli’s cousins ​​and neighbors, Ai, Anisa, and Naila, who assist in the operation of the Literacy Terrace. 

"I feel thrilled to contribute to this project, and I hope it continues to grow, igniting a love for reading in more children," Shared Ai.

Despite them having to undertake other work duties, Rafli’s parents, Buhori and Mimi, usually create time to help the children read and take immense pride in their children's initiative and commitment to the project. They support them every step of the way, and they have witnessed the project strengthen their family ties. Besides positively impacting their family relationships, the project has also provided the family with a shared sense of purpose. As they witness the smiles on the children's faces and their eagerness to learn, the family's passion for the project continues to grow. 

The "Literacy Terrace" project is a testament to the power of volunteerism in strengthening family bonds while serving the community. It has allowed Rafli’s family to show empathy and kindness to others in their community. The project has also helped them work collaboratively as a family while bringing on board other community members in making the world a better place for children. 

The project is an inspiring example of how positive initiatives can transform lives and deepen family connections. Through their selfless efforts, Rafli and his family have shown that making a difference starts at home and can ripple out to create a brighter and more united community. With ambitious plans, Rafli and his family aspire to see the Literacy Terrace grow into a full-fledged library, reaching more children in the community. They aim to extend their impact to remote areas, ensuring every child can embrace the joy of reading. At GPW, we applaud Rafli and his family for this initiative and as they continue their journey of empowering children through reading, building cherished memories and nurturing a culture of love and togetherness.