An estimated 42 percent of males and 50 percent of females in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have no formal education. Only 56 percent of women over the age of 15 are literate. Statistics like this has led the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in that country to set up literacy programs in the Morobe, Central, Manus and Bougainville provinces.
One such program is a competition that ADRA PNG has been with another nonprofit organization, Soroptimist International, aimed at motivating Papua New Guineans to learn to read. Its inaugural competition was held in Morobe earlier this year. There where 83 entrants to the competition, with the theme “Kisim Save, Senisim Laip” (Gain Knowledge, Change Life).
Another ADRA initiative involves students from Pacific Adventist University (PAU) going into communities to teach both Pidgin and English to the local villagers, who can then go on to teach others to read and write.
“Twice a week my students gather their [readers] in small groups under the mango trees to teach Pidgin while I collect a group of students who want to improve their English,” says Veronika Chester, a staff member at PAU whose students work with local villagers.
ADRA PNG is also involved in HIV/AIDS education, Health Education, Adult Literacy, Small Enterprise Development, Disaster Response and Water and Sanitation.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) of Papua New Guinea works with people regardless of any ethnic, political, racial or religious association to relieve human suffering, empowering both individuals and communities to develop their full potential.