For the past four years, they have been taking backpacks full of books to remote villages in PNG.
“For the bush schools in the Southern Highlands, there is no access to commercially produced reading materials,” said Cecilia. “Largely there is no electricity or internet, so children have never really seen pictures of the things that we take for granted, like elephants, giraffes, and places of interest around the world.”
By providing a backpack of 30 books, children have access to quality reading books with accurate spelling and grammar.
Each time the couple return to villages and run workshops, they see a marked improvement in the English of both teachers and students.
“It is because of the workshops that you have given to us that the children are speaking English so well” Pili, a Year 2 teacher at Yetamali Elementary school, told Cecilia.
Cecilia said the backpacks allow the teachers to take the books home easily for security and preservation as most classrooms cannot be locked.
“Over 18 weeks, children get access to 90 quality reading books, as opposed to none at present,” she said.
The Anderson’s would appreciate any contribution to the cost of a backpack that will raise the level of literacy, which potentially protects children against false teaching and the danger of being exploited.