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Solomon Airlines Supports READ SI and National Literacy Campaign

Posted on April 06, 2017 at 03:22 PM in General News

Kim Whitmore, from Brisbane, met with CEO Brett Gebers of Solomon Airlines recently.  To show support for what READ SI is about to do for the country, a return ticket from Brisbane was offered to Kim, a literacy specialist.

Currently, Kim is training 189 people to be village reading teachers.  She wrote materials a few years back just for the Solomon Islands.  These materials are so good that people who know how to read actually say they are learning new things that make 'reading' come alive.  This entire workshop is free for the participants and the training manual and two student workbooks are included.  This was sponsored by Solomons Forest Association, Solrice and READ SI.

Kim's present trip here was sponsored by READ SI and its donors, but Brett says that this literacy program is so valuable that Solomon Islands would gladly help get Kim back for another training in June.  The people who are at the six day workshop will be going out across the country and the vision is to reach 600 villages.  Establishing reading classes and bringing hundreds of informational books to the people is one of the goals, but the most important thing is to increase knowledge and develop better decision-making skills.  This will improve the quality of life and allow villagers to practice better governance.  Once women feel confident in themselves because they are learning to read, they become more involved in community committees.  This is also about developing better leaders.

Reading is the key to so many things.

The support of Solomon Airlines demonstrates how willing companies and organizations are to support literacy in the villages.  Many, many businesses have contributed to READ SI for the National Literacy Campaign.

To have a team of two teachers stay in one village for 6 weeks and bring in hundreds of books costs a lot and is sponsored by businesses, organizations, diplomatic missions and generous individuals.  The cost per village to be involved in the National Literacy Campaign is SBD$12,000 and funded by donations.  There is no cost to the village, except the commitment to support each other to learn. Some villages are so eager to be involved they are starting to fundraise to cover the cost themselves. 

Everyone is asked to be involved in this great endeavor.  MPs will also be asked to select their villages for this campaign and use some of their CDF to help pay the cost of transport and food for the trainers and materials for all the people.

The vision is to have reading classes and library books in 600 villages by April 2018, with more to follow. If you wish to donate, call READ SI at 7560190.

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