The 8th of April 2008 marked the establishment of the first Buk bilong Pikinini library at the Port Moresby General Hospital. The site was chosen to keep in line with one of our main objectives; to help the most vulnerable in society – seriously ill children. The library is situated in the Children’s HIV/AIDS, Malnutrition and Tuberculosis ward. The establishment of this, our first library, was the culmination of a year of fundraising as Buk bilong Bilong Pikinini which makes us especially proud. We have just celebrated our 16th birthday at this, our very first library – please see our Facebook page for details and photographs from this proud occasion.
Scope of learning:
The children in this ward are often required to be hospitalised for up to 9 months sometimes and therefore miss out on school and other social activities. Having a Buk bilong Pikinini library close at hand fills this gap for them and delivers the educational stimulation that they require.
The Buk bilong Pikinini special needs literacy-based learning programme is adapted at the hospital library to accommodate those children who are not yet strong enough to handle all the learning activities. The teacher’s approach is very gentle and caring to make the children feel comfortable with their unconventional learning environment. The programme is conducted simultaneously in all libraries and incorporates letter and number recognition, phonics, craft activities, singing and structured play. Books are read out aloud to the children followed by craft and writing activities that relate to the Buk bilong Pikinini letter of the week, number of the week and 'awareness' of the week.
Impact on the community:
The feedback from the hospital staff (doctors and nurses) has been overwhelmingly positive. The library has completely changed the energy and atmosphere in the ward.
Dr John Vince:
“..children would cry out of despair and boredom as they had nothing to do during the long hours and months of their hospitalisation….now the children can hardly wait for the doctors and nurses to finish their morning round so that they can run to the library for their daily activities… the library creates a real focus and structure in the children's daily lives at the ward which is highly instrumental in supporting their rehabilitation ".
The PMGH library is sponsored by Airways Hotel and Apartments, which is also one of our important Founder Sponsors of Buk bilong Pikinini, having assisted with the establishment of our library at the Special Education and Resource Centre at Hohola and now funds the hospital library as well as having fully funded our library at Six Mile.
Our precious children and teacher-librarian: