Buk bilong Pikinini and the Bank of South Pacific to build Libraries through the United Nation's Safe Cities Project
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed to enable the establishment of two libraries under the Safe Cities Project. Representatives from Bank South Pacific (BSP) together with United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), National Capital District Commission (NCDC), and Buk Bilong Pikinini (BbP) signed the MOU on the 27th of March.
BSP Group Chief Executive Officer Robin Fleming said the bank’s decision to support is simple - to help improve literacy rates in PNG by developing a culture of reading from early childhood.
“BbP has embarked on a noble plan to establish libraries and learning centres regionally to promote and encourage the passion to read. BSP is privileged to partner with BbP to promote education among children, and ultimately play a part in improving access to education in PNG, because like BbP our focus is on the children and youth of our country. This partnership is a long term commitment by BSP to ensure that our children harness the necessary skill of reading as part of their development as the future leaders of PNG. Our children are our future and we must give them hope, health and opportunities,” he said.
"However, sadly most public libraries have shut down and literacy rates have been on the decline, but there there is hope, as BbP an independent charity organisation has moved to change this, embarking on setting up libraries to promote and assist children in finding the passion to read,"he added.
Under the MOU, the two libraries will be located at Gerehu and Gordons markets, which are generally known to be very unsafe areas.
Buk bilong Pikinini is looking forward to working with UN team, the National Capital District and the Bank of South Pacific to establish libraries in locations which are now made safe for women and girls. According to UN research it is very important to create these safe areas as "over half of women market vendors in PNG have to bring their children to the market as many of the children do not attend school. Women in PNG suffer disproportionately from poverty an experience major barriers to participation in their communities due to low levels of literacy and education, high incidence of domestic violence and poorer access to health services."
It has always been Buk bilong Pikinini's goal to serve the most vulnerable children in Papua New Guinea and we are grateful for the opportunity to be able to do so in partnership with BSP, NCDC and the UN.