Riding high with Hastings Deering

Buk bilong Pikinini children and staff were invited to lunch at Hastings Deering this week. We took this opportunity to thank Hastings Deering for their amazing support for BbP. Hastings Deering has co-sponsored our library at UPNG and has also generously provided BbP with ample storage space for our books since 2010. Children from the UPNG library read and did a phonics demonstration to the 100+ staff and also got the opportunity to ride high in the big tractor.

John Ritchie, Hastings Deering Area Manager for PNG and Solomon Islands, said: “Hastings Deering has a long history in the development of Papua New Guineans through our apprenticeship program, with an average of 40 apprentices at any given time. Buk bilong Pikinini presents an opportunity to further align with our community engagement program and the development of Papua New Guineans. BbP is a unique organization that delivers an opportunity for young children to learn to read and write. We are very proud, even privileged, to be associated with this organization. Our reward is to see the smiling faces of the children, to hear them read and see them write.”

Thank you Hastings Deering!

Our new Ambassador

Buk bilong Pikinini is proud to announce that Mrs Lynda Babao-O’Neill has accepted our invitation to become our Ambassador.

Buk bilong Pikinini celebrated International Day of Families with the introduction of our new ambassador. The event was also held in appreciation of our donor at Koki Markets - ExxonMobil. Two books published by Buk bilong Pikinini; Our Village: Tatana Island and Buk bilong Koki Markets both produced in partnership with children of the respective villages was introduced to the children and families of Koki Village.

Mrs Lynda Babao-O’Neill has been involved with Buk bilong Pikinini for a number of years already and has supported many of our activities and initiatives. She has been a great champion for children living with disabilities and has been part of our efforts to provide the children attending the Red Cross Special Education and Resource Centre at Hohola, (where BbP has a Special Needs library), with adequate support for their education. Mrs Babao-O’Neill has also sponsored the venue for a Buk bilong Pikinini Author’s Seminar held at Paddy’s Hotel aimed at getting Papua New Guineans to write for children and has also taken part in our Reading Champions program. 

Mrs Lynda Babao O’Neill said: “Buk bilong Pikinini brings hope. It allows our young children from disadvantaged backgrounds to dream beyond their circumstances and be children. It gives them the greatest possible head start to perform well in school.”

Anne-Sophie Hermann, Founder of Buk bilong Pikinini, said: “It is a great honour for Buk bilong Pikinini to have Lynda as our Ambassador. She has already acted in that capacity in an informal manner for a while and has shown an immense support for Buk bilong Pikinini and our initiatives. We are very proud to formalise the role and recognise our deep gratitude for her support, love and respect for the children of Papua New Guinea.”

Luke Ebbs, Executive Officer of BbP, said: "An ideal Ambassador is someone who is driven by passion and actively works towards promoting an organisation's cause. Lynda is an ideal Ambassador. She has proven through actions that she is passionate about providing access to literacy for PNG's most vulnerable children. I sincerely thank Lynda, our Platinum sponsors, Exxon Mobil and all the other partners who allow BbP to improve the lives of thousands of families across PNG every year.

ExxonMobil has generously sponsored the operational costs for the BbP library at Koki Markets after an extensive renovation donated by Curtain Bros. Exxon has also taken part in many of BbP’s community efforts and has had great involvement by its staff members. Buk bilong Pikinini would like to thank Exxon for their invaluable support for providing the children of Koki Village and surrounds with valuable learning opportunities.

Andrew G. Barry, Managing Director ExxonMobil said “ExxonMobil PNG recognizes the important role BbP plays in providing early childhood reading programs to so many children. Building strong reading skills at young age is critical to help children with their early learning. We have been proud supporters of BbP since 2010 and are excited to see them grow their library services to other parts of the country.”

Thank you event with long-term donors


Buk bilong Pikinini held an event on Friday the 1st of May to thank the owners and directors of Airways Hotel and Apartments, Monier and Hebou Constructions (all part of the Constantinou Group of Companies). These companies are all Platinum Founder Sponsors of Buk bilong Pikinini and without the support BbP would not be where it is today with 16 libraries in operation across Papua New Guinea.

Shortly after Buk bilong Pikinini opened its first library in April 2008 at the Port Moresby General Hospital’s Malnutrition, HIV and Tuberculosis ward for children - Airways Hotel came on board as a Sponsor to help the most vulnerable children gain access to valuable learning opportunities and books.

In 2009 Airways Hotel sponsored a second library at Six Mile just next to the Police Station to be followed a few years later with a library at the former Rouna quarry at 9 Mile sponsored by Monier. Hebou has joined in the support for Buk bilong Pikinini in 2015. Owners Sir Theo Constantinou and Kostas Constatinou have been formidable supporters of what Buk bilong Pikinini is trying to achieve.

A successful event in Melbourne

Buk bilong Pikinini held an event in Melbourne on April 1 to celebrate that the talented and celebrated children's books author and illustrator Alison Lester has accepted our invitation to become a patron for our organisation. We also launched our new books developed in partnership with Andrew Kelly of Wild Dog Books and Alison Lester.

An auction was held to do a bit of fundraising at the same time. It was a great evening, where we took the opportunity to thank our Melbourne-based donors such as the Harold Mitchell Foundation, Oxford University Press, Hardie Grant Egmont and more for their amazing support!

Anne-Sophie Hermann, Founder of Buk bilong Pikinini, said: “It is a great honour for Buk bilong Pikinini to have Alison Lester as our patron. The support of both Andrew Kelly and Alison Lester has now enabled us to produce our very first books, which have already been greatly received by the children in our libraries. We are hoping that these books will be the first of many culturally-appropriate books produced and will be a contribution to diversity in children’s publishing.”

Alison Lester,  said; “It was fabulous to travel to PNG and see the children at Buk bilong Pikinini libraries so excited and happy, all reading, writing and painting, things they had never had the chance to do before Buk bilong Pikinini was established.” See more about Alison's involvement with Buk bilong Pikinini here.

Andrew Kelly of Wild Dog Books said; “We are thrilled to partner with Buk bilong Pikinini. It has been a pleasure to work with Buk bilong Pikinini to create books that reflect the lives of the children who visit the libraries. The children can find themselves in these books.”

The Hon. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs said: “I visited a number of Buk bilong Pikinini libraries in 2014 and I support their excellent work helping PNG children to learn to read and foster a love of learning. I am pleased that Buk bilong Pikinini has received help from Australian authors and publishing houses to produce culturally appropriate books for the children of PNG.

For more about the event