Learning to Read and Write

Story and photo by Janeen Michie

“Many nationals do not know how to read and write in Tok Pisin or their own language. It’s a problem for them as they are shut out from the world. They can’t follow the media or read a newspaper. When purchasing medicine they can’t read the prescription.” Mavis said sadly.

Mavis Matmillo teaches adult literacy courses at the Ukarumpa training center. She says, “You see people picking up words. Everyday is joy to see people change.”

Janet a student of the literacy course says, “I couldn’t read or write as a child. My parents didn’t put me in school. I didn’t know my ABC’s.” She grew up gathering firewood, working in the garden, and collecting water. As an adult she heard about the literacy course. Janet says, “I had a big hunger for reading the Bible. I heard about the school at the training center. I was very happy and I wanted to come and read the Bible for myself. Next year I will come back and learn more from the next course.”

Kete Oroti attended school from kindergarten to grade 1. As an adult she took the literacy course and after receiving her certificate says, “I’m happy that I can read & write. God has a plan for my life. I can read the Bible and now I can work.”

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