31 Mar 2010

VSA says plans for a new library in Bougainville will help restore literacy

10:26 am on 31 March 2010

The manager of the Pacific programme of New Zealand's Volunteers Services Abroad says plans to build a library in Bougainville can help restore literacy and provide education for those who were denied it during the civil war.

The Bougainville Library Trust's project was launched last night in Wellington and plans to build, then stock a library in Arawa, the former capital of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

The VSA's Peter Swain says that many Bougainvilleans lost access to schooling and books for a decade due to the war.

He says anything that can help make up some of this lost ground is invaluable.

"A project that encourages literacy gets people connected back with books and with their culture is a very important part of that overall progress because you can't do economic development without the foundation of education. These things go hand in hand. So I think there's good links between that and the hard-hearted reality of good development assistance."

The Trust hopes to raise around 200-thousand US dollars for the library.