Marang and Katimpun Libraries update March 2024





Marang Library

Katimpun Library

The children’s library in Marang village and its sister library a few miles away in Katimpun are the flagship programmes supported by MEDyARTE Charity on Borneo in Indonesia.

Over the recent years both facilities have made a noticeable impact on the life of the surrounding communities. In 2023 they served not only 217 children, ranging from kindergarten to secondary school age but also more then 600 adults who had an opportunity to join in various activities, including counseling sessions, workshops and health checks making the libraries all-inclusive educational centers.

The libraries were originally opened with the purpose of enhancing children’s literacy.  We are pleased to say that this aim has been met and every year the young people continue to achieve higher educational standards. Particular achievements include improved comprehension and reading ability across all age groups which is reflected in an improved expression of ideas through writing, oral communication and also in enhanced confidence.

This visible progress had a positive impact on the communities’ perspective on the importance of literacy and education in the modern world. It has led to a significant reduction in a number of children, particularly girls, who leave school having completed only primary education and to a drastic decline in early teenage marriages.

The teachers, Nikita and Ferry, continually strive to improve not only the children’s ability to read, write and calculate but also to broaden their horizons about the world in general. A particular emphasis is put on understanding the natural environment and its protection, health education and learning about Dayak culture including music, art and tradition.

Young people are involved in rubbish collection, recycling and tree planting. They develop knowledge about native plants and animals, they learn about the negative consequences of date plantation developments and tree logging on the island.

Thanks to the endeavors of the project leader Aini, doctors and nurses visit the libraries on a monthly basis to give educational talks about the healthy lifestyle choices, nutrition and contraception and they investigate the reasons for stunted growth in babies as well as the frailty of the elderly population. A new cooperation has been developed with a local university in Palangkaraya, allowing its students to come and provide additional tuition to children. Responsible ecotourism has also been developed to share their rich cultural heritage with the world.


The modern world cannot survive without technology. We are therefore gradually introducing computers to provide children with skills necessary for future life.

Our pride and joy however, is the traditional dance and music programme. It has been so successful that participants are regularly invited to perform at ceremonies varying from local weddings to government celebrations and meetings.


What is most important to me, however, is the pure happiness brought by the music to all involved; the self-recognition, finding of the meaning and value of Dayak culture and the enthusiasm and purpose it creates.

We look forward to many more successful years of working together with these Bornean communities.