100 BOOKS project


Read about the 100BOOKS project
and out mission to put books in schools of remote fishing village
in the Indonesian Archipelago.



In 2015 Nath and I said goodbye to life as we knew it and moved to the far remote reaches of Indonesia to a teeny tiny island in the Raja Ampat Archipelago.

View from our home at Raja Ampat.

Our island home was in West Waigeo, about as far west as West Papua gets, and the nearby villages were extremely isolated.  As a result, the education system struggled.  It was difficult to find teachers willing to live in the conditions offered by poor fishing villages, schools were rundown, and resources of all kinds were extremely limited.

Our first school at Salio Village, West Waigeo, Raja Ampat.
The teachers that made the initial request for books which got this whole thing rolling.

I thought I might have something to offer, but I didn't know what the villagers needed.

So I reached out to the teachers.  How can I help you?

The teachers' responses were immediate - books.

It's very hard to teach literacy when the children have nothing to read.

Early morning in Salio Village.

I wasn't working at the time, and I didn't know when I would be again, so buying a large amount of books for the school wasn't something that I could do.  But I have a lot of people in my life who are passionate about education and I knew if I reached out to my people it wouldn't be long before I could build a collection of books for this school.


2016

At the end of February, 2016, I put a call out to friends and colleagues in Bali and asked them to donate books to this cause.  The 100 BOOKS project was born.

Over the next several months I saw that I had many more people in my life - not just in Indonesia - who wanted to contribute to this project.  I started getting donations from the UK and Australia.  I created a GoFundMe page to handle monetary donations so that I could buy Indonesian books for people who wanted to donate but didn't live in the country.

Books and money kept coming in and soon we were able to stat a library collection in a second village.

Selpele Village, West Waigeo, Raja Ampat.

Selpele Village School.

Enjoying books.


Towards the end of 2016 we left West Papua and moved to a different teeny tiny island in remote Indonesia, this time at the gateway of the Komodo National Park.

View from the top of our island home at Pulau Pungu Kecil, Flores - the gateway of the Komodo Marine Park.

View from our home in Flores, NTT.


Early on in our time in Flores I visited a neighbouring village to see if their school, like the schools I had visited in Papua, needed books.  Of course they did, but they also needed so much more.

The village was having an extremely difficult time keeping teachers.  At the time of my first visit I was informed that 10 teachers had come and gone in the past 12 months - a combination of poor salary and poor living conditions.  As a result, the government was threatening to close the school down - something the villagers did not want to happen.

Kukusan Village, NTT.

I decided that the most pressing need was to improve the living conditions for teachers so that they would stay and eliminate the threat of the school being closed down.  So we built a new house for the teacher.

The original teachers house.
The new teachers house.


In 2018 we expanded our usual collections to include raising money to get Ocean Warriors Plastic in Paradise into village schools in remote Indonesia.  I look forward to continuing to bring you news of these distributions.


The first distribution of Ocean Warriors Plastic in Paradise.

Enjoying Books.

To date we have distributed over 2000 books for four different village school libraries.  We also offer care packages for teachers living in remote situations where food and hygeine items are difficult to come by or too expensive to buy on poor salaries.

When I got that first request for books I never expected to be here.  I am so grateful to be able to contrubte to the lives of so many children and help support communities who lack the opportunities I have always been granted.

Thank you so much for being part of this story.

(You can read 100 BOOKS project updates on the website, HERE)

xxx


Cath
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