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Buk Bilong Pikinini - Meanjin Article

"Following on from my recent blog about Buk Bilong Pikinini here is the link to their web site.  - I have also reprinted a recent interview from Meanjin Magazine  between my friends Drusilla Modjeska and Anne-Sophie Hermann as they talk about about Buk bilong Pikinini. I have included some photographs from my recent trip" - Alison.

Drusilla Modjeska talks to Anne-Sophie Hermann about Buk bilong Pikinini
Meanjin, Vol 72, No 1, March 2013.

In a small room at the Papua New Guinea High Commission in Canberra, Anne-So-phie Hermann sorts books. A security guard helps me carry in another box to add to those already overflowing every surface and piled on the floor. These are books do-nated to Buk bilong Pikinini, the organisation Hermann started five years ago while she was in Port Moresby as the wife of the Australian High Commissioner to PNG. Starting from the simple premise of bringing books to the most vulnerable of Papua New Guinea"s children, the first library opened in a ward of the Port Moresby General Hospital. That was in April 2008. In December 2012 the tenth library opened near a settlement on the outskirts of the town of Alotau in Milne Bay Province. From a small start, in a country where half the children are out of school, and where good ideas do not easily translate into development success, BbP"s libraries now bring books and literacy to thousands of children.

I visited two of the libraries in September 2012. The rooms were modest, with the children sitting bunched together on the mats spread, traditional style, on the floor. There were a few shelves of books and craft materials, cut-outs hanging from the ceiling, posters and children"s drawings pinned to the wall. Compared to the facili-ties you"d see in primary schools in Australia, they are modest. In Papua New Guinea I"ve seen few classrooms for young children with as much, and many with a great deal less. What moved me-other visitors, I"m told have the same reaction-was to see how eager and inventive the children were, and how much they made of every-thing the libraries provide. "We are probably the only libraries in the world", Hermann says, "with lines of children outside."

If you wish to read the whole interview between click here