Buk bilong Pikinini opened a Library Learning Centre on the 13th of March, 2018 inside Hagara Primary School in Hanuabada village, Port Moresby.
The Library Learning Centre has been greatly anticipated by the school, which has not had a library for more than 40 years and surrounding communities, who are looking forward to benefiting from the literacy programs Buk bilong Pikinini has to offer.
Hanuabada village is located right in the city and has one of the oldest schools in Port Moresby yet access to high quality literacy materials has been very difficult. Buk bilong Pikinini has already made a number of book donations to the school but decided to re-locate its Lawes Road Library Learning Centre to the school in order to make sure more children gain access to books and literacy programs.
Buk bilong Pikinini has had support from Steamships since 2009 and have built three libraries together, which have provided valuable learning opportunities for thousands of children. The first library was opened at Lawes Road Port Moresby in 2009, the second later in the year in Lae, Eriku and the third in Goroka at the Bird of Paradise Hotel in 2010.
Buk bilong Pikinini programs provide children with an opportunity to become literate in English before going to school, get a good start on their numeracy, learn about their country’s history and culture and gain important awareness about health and hygiene. This provides the children with a solid base for starting school and allow them to excel compared with those children who have not had access to an early childhood program. PNG schools are currently struggling with overcrowded classrooms and it can be very difficult to learn in such an environment.
Tehila Anthony, now 10 years old attended BbP’s Early Childhood Literacy program at the Eriku Library Centre in Lae in 2012-2013. Tehila (pictured above right) is currently the Dux of her school and has won many academic awards and loves to read. Many more children who have attended BbP’s programs over the years have very similar stories to tell and are grateful to Steamships for having provided such a valuable service to their community.
Kaupa Wemin, now 18 years old and enrolled at KilaKila Secondary School in Port Moresby learnt to read as a 13 year old at BbP’s Library Learning Centre at Lawes Road in 2010-2011 before the TFF was introduced. He thanks BbP and Steamships for having given him this chance in life of becoming literate and being able to enrol at school and get an education.
"Steamships Commercial Manager, Richard Gould, had this to say at the opening ceremony; "Steamships places great value on its long relationship with Buk Bilong Pikinini. Through the direct support of the company libraries have been opened in Port Moresby, Lae and Goroka, and thousands of children have been provided with the opportunity to learn to read. The relocation of the Lawes Road library to Hagara Primary School is an exciting development that creates a new sustainable partnership and will enable more children to gain access to books and literacy programs."
The Steamships’ Community Grants Program supports not-for-profit organisations and initiatives that deliver impactful, measurable, innovative and sustainable results to the people of Papua New Guinea in a manner that improves community wellbeing. The Program is deliberately targeted at health, education, and social welfare issues, with a focus on women, children and the most marginalized citizens of the country.
In response, Chairman of Hagara Elementary School Dadi Toka Jr said “ Hanuabada has a very rich historical association with Steamships, and we’re pleased to be able to announce yet another partnership with such a long standing Papua New Guinean company. The library will bring enormous benefit to the young people of our community, and we also thank Buk bilong Pikinini for their partnership”.
Anne-Sophie Hermann, BbP Founder and Chair said:
“Thanks to Steamships generous support since 2009, Buk bilong Pikinini has been able to provide thousands of children in Port Moresby, Lae and Gokora with an opportunity to become literate. This is a true gift to families and communities across the country, who can now know that their children have had the best possible start and support for their on-going education. Buk bilong Pikinini is grateful to Steamships for the support for our Library Learning Centres and programs, which allow children to become literate at the age of 5, develop a love of lifelong reading and to excel at school.”