PORT MORESBY - Education is the only way to save the world.
If you want to combat incurable diseases, get a medical degree. If you want to defend people’s rights, go to law school.
If you want to discover new drugs, get a PhD in pharmacology. If you want organisations to work better, get an MBA.
A good quality education helps children reach their full potential; however for thousands of children in Papua New Guinea, access to educational books is a myth.
So meet three amazing ladies who initiated book donation drives to help educate underprivileged children.
Mary Fairio is a researcher with a passion for kids and a desire to make a difference in her West Papuan community living at the Rainbow refugee camp.
This is a temporary settlement given to the West Papua community until a permanent area is identified for them.
Like other settlements in Port Moresby, it is under-resourced, under-privileged and poverty stricken. Many of the kids are not able to attend primary school. Others who attend school have limited access to reading books and resources.
Mary and a few colleagues from the National Research Institute have started a program aimed at creating a safe and conducive environment for the refugee kids to do their homework and, importantly, to read books.
I’ve given them some of my children’s books published by Library for All and also pledged to donate a carton of books for the program.
Leilani Konjib is a student at the University of Papua New Guinea. Together with her friend Vinzealhar Nen, they’ve initiated the Henatu Durua book drive. Henatu Durua means ‘help our children’ in the Koita language of Central Province.
Schools along the Wau - Bulolo Highway lack proper facilities and Ms Konjib plans to start a small library at a school located in the Bundun area of Bulolo District, which is a good four hours’ drive from Lae city over a very poor road.
In her efforts to raise money, Leilani sells cupcakes at UPNG when she is not attending lectures. The money raised will be contributed to purchase new books and stationery. I’ve assisted by donating three cartons with over 100 reading books to the Henatu Durua book drive.
I admire these women and applaud their efforts. I wish more people with big hearts would go out of their way to bring knowledge and empowermen t to underprivileged children, especially in rural areas.