113 / Gunungsari, Banjarnegara, Central Java
Mr. Suparno has enjoyed reading books since he was young. His grandfather was a teacher, so he always found many books around the house. After graduating from middle school, he moved to Jakarta to find a job. It was his dream to someday have saved up enough money to be able to build his own house back in the village.
After few years living and working in Jakarta, he decided to go back to his village in 2012 to build his own house. However he felt something missing in his village: he could not find the Reading Garden that he used to go to when he was young.
So in 2016, he started a Reading Garden at his own house, it’s called Taman Baca Al-Munir. There are about 250 books at the Eco-Education Center, mostly bought from his own money. The Eco-Education Center is open everyday, he never locks his house. Because of him, kids, teenagers and adults are always welcome to use the space for reading, discussing and making homework.
Gunungsari village is located in the mountain area, about two hours from downtown Banjarnegara. The people here make a living as farmers and by working on tea plantations.
The biggest environmental issue here is the lack of a working waste management. People still throw their garbage in the rivers, behind their houses, or burn it. To improve their outcome, the people use electricity shocks or poisonous treatments while fishing in the rivers around the village.
Mr Suparno likes to grow his own vegetables and is planning to learn more about composting. He says: “I hope to introduce the beauty of nature to the kids in the village and to raise awareness in the community to keep the environment clean”.