The first library established by Buk bilong Pikinini is situated at the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) in the Children's HIV/AIDS, Malnutrition and Tuberculosis ward.The library was set up in April 2008, a year after the initial establishment of Buk bilong Pikinini as an organisation.
The site was chosen on a scale of need with an aim to help some of the most vulnerable in society - seriously ill children. The children hospitalised in the ward are so sick that they are often required to stay at the hospital for up to 8-9 months and therefore miss out on school and other social activities. Buk bilong Pikinini delivers educational stimulation in the shape of a children's library.
In order to help the children with their rehabilitation, Buk bilong Pikinini tries to foster a love of reading and learning through our daily literacy based Learning Programme. The programme is conducted simultaniously in all libraries and incorporates letter and number recognition, phonics, craft activities, singing and structured play. The hospital programme is conducted in a very gentle and caring manner so that those who are very weak are still able to participate. Books are read out loud 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.
The hospital library conducts a nutrition programme with the children every Friday. The purpose is to teach the children the importance of eating well to stay healthy. The remaining funds from the former KaiKai bilong Pikinini (food for children) is used to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables which is greatly enjoyed by the children.
Buk bilong Pikinini has been told numerous times by nurses and doctors at the ward how the presence of the library has changed the atmosphere at the ward. Before the establishment of the library Dr. John Vince told Buk bilong Pikinini that "children would cry out of despair and boredom as they had nothing to do during the long hours and months of their hospitalisation" and that 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".He also states that "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 library is sponsored by Airways Hotel and Apartments, which is one of the important Founder Sponsors of Buk bilong Pikinini, having assisted with the establishment of our library at the Special Education and Resource Centre at Hohola, now funds the hospital library and has fully funded our library at Six Mile.
Volunteer Yvonne Henry with Nara our Head Librarian at PMGH.
Sick Children enjoying the books in the library!
Sponsored by: Airways Hotel