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14 October 2011
A library supported by Oxford University Press has opened in Papua New Guinea, providing local children with access to books for the first time.
The library in the Gerehu settlement in Port Moresby was jointly funded by OUP Australia and New Zealand and Hastings Deering, and opened its doors on 4 October.
It is the eighth library opened in the country by Buk bilong Pikinini, a charitable organization which aims to foster children’s enjoyment of books. There are few functioning libraries outside the school system in Papua New Guinea and the charity aims to address the fact that many children do not have access to books at all.
Set on the campus of the University of Papua New Guinea and next to the largest settlement in the city, the new library will serve the children from the nearby settlements who miss out on school, as well as children of the staff and students of the university.
It was opened in a ceremony attended by various dignitaries and guests along with many local children including employees of Oxford University Press involved in the sponsorship programme.
OUP Australia and New Zealand has as an ongoing commitment to Papua New Guinea, and has been producing books for the country for a number of years. This includes schools books focusing on community development and public health issues alongside more traditional subjects.
Peter van Noorden, Managing Director of OUP Australia and New Zealand said: “Our sponsorship of the Buk bilong Pikinini library is just part of an ongoing commitment to improve PNG's literacy rate, currently just 56 per cent in local languages or 40 per cent in English".
You can find out more about the Buk bilong Pikinini project at www.bukbilongpikinini.org and more about Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand at www.oup.com.au