A children’s literacy advocate, Nila Tanzil is the founding CEO of Taman Bacaan Pelangi (Rainbow Reading Gardens), a NGO that has established more than 100 children’s libraries in remote villages’ primary schools across 17 islands in eastern Indonesia. Collectively, they serve over 26,000 students and provide access to more than 200,000 books. While nurturing a love of reading, the program has also trained over 1,000 local teachers in library management systems and literacy programs, providing them with free, detailed lesson plans. Tanzil created the NGO in 2009, and in 2013 left her corporate career to devote her energies full-time to the organization, which currently employs 11 full-time staff. In 2014 Tanzil founded Travel Sparks, which allows tourists to “travel with a cause” and have a positive social impact on the communities they visit. It is one of the first social enterprises in Indonesia that promotes volunteerism, and all profits from Travel Sparks are channeled back to support the NGO. As a result of her fellowship, Tanzil looks to scale-up interventions to advance literacy, improve children’s reading skills in eastern Indonesia, and empower local teachers in literacy instruction and the use of technology to expand the project’s scope in Indonesia.


Taman Bacaan Pelangi


Founder & CEO

Areas of Interest

Youth Education & Development
  • nila tanzil headshot

Program Year



Common Interest Program

Country of Origin


Destination Country

United States