January 25, 2022
The Asia Foundation (TAF) released a collection of 33 books for children in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in three of their local languages, Hiri Motu, Tok Pisin and Enga.
The books, originally created by Bilum Books in English, can be read online or downloaded for free from the Let’s Read Digital Library, with a good portion of the collection available in additional languages.
The PNG Collection, part of TAF’s Let’s Read Asia initiative, was produced with ACR GCD support under the Begin With Books Prize. TAF is producing 380 children’s books in six local languages of Laos, Nepal and PNG, where two prominent barriers to literacy are access to books and basic understanding of the importance of reading. Over two years, the TAF project is bringing together local authors, illustrators, designers, language experts and volunteer translators to create and adapt the early grade books for children and publish these free, open source stories under the Creative Commons license on the Global Digital Library and the Let’s Read Digital Library.
The Begin with Books Prize is an ACR GCD competition in partnership with the Global Book Alliance through which global innovators are assembling cost-effective packages of high quality, accessible titles in 19 underserved spoken and signed languages.
Around the world, millions of children have little to no books in languages they use and understand, thereby limiting their right to literacy and quality education. For the more than 93 million children with disabilities, the shortage of books is even more severe, as resources, if available at all, often lack accessible formats. Literacy is a cornerstone of development, placing children on a path for future success in school, employment, health and society.
Research shows that children experience greater reading success when learning in their local spoken or signed language. Providing engaging and accessible books in underserved languages such as Hiri Motu, Tok Pisin, and Enga is essential to empowering and supporting children in Papua New Guinea on their path to literacy.
Beginning with books, we can ensure more children are prepared to reach their full potential.
ACR GCD is a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government.