Zaini Alif

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2014
Komunitas Hong


This profile was prepared when Zaini Alif was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Zaini creatively engages communities to educate and socialize the next generation of leaders through traditional toys and games. He identifies and spreads traditional games as a way to increase children’s empathy, creativity and connection to the environment. Zaini brings together children, parents, local community leaders, and young adults to ensure that children have access to play and get to know children from other villages, hires young people at the margins of society to become instructors, and involves the wider community in traditional forms of play.

Zaini applies a three-pronged approach: highlighting the universal values of traditional games, enabling kids to play in the community center, and teaching the community to produce the games. His approach therefore values Indonesian traditional heritage while taking into account the need for economic sustainability in the community. In order to create wider impact, he works on influencing schools to incorporate traditional games into the school curriculum. As the outcome of his research, he has written books about traditional toys and games and, following his advocacy to local government, the books have been reproduced and distributed to public schools. The Provincial Education and Culture Office of West Java has recently launched the integration of traditional games as an introductory session for high school students, as it is already applied in primary schools.

His Teacher Play Movement, where he transfers the values and the skills of playing traditional games to other teachers, has also been set up. He expects the teachers to develop their Hong (Cooperative) Community in their own area, which will add to the existing 6 communities already established in Java, Bali, and Sumatra.

His work has also been introduced and presented to teachers in other countries. As further development and to back up the movement with data and information, Zaini is developing the Indonesian Toys Museum in partnership with the Bandung Institute of Technology.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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