Lola Fairhead's children attended a school in Canberra, Australia, that used Sounds~Write to teach reading and spelling. When she moved back to Papua New Guinea she felt a very strong motivation to help the young women and children there learn to read and spell. So she attended a course, taught by Mary Gladstone, in Canberra in order to learn the Sounds~Write approach. Then, with the support of the Four Square Church of PNG and The Samaritan’s Purse of Sydney, she set up a training project in Port Moresby, the capital of PNG. The project aims to train Papuans who work in the missions and settlements to use Sounds~Write, so that they can teach literacy skills to the people. Lola has now organised two trainings in Port Moresby, and we are very pleased to present a few photographs and reflections from the most recent course (January 2011) here.
A third training is planned for September 2011.
Part of the International School in Port Moresby, where the course was held. In the interests of fostering literacy in their country, the school allowed us to use their facilities free of charge - for which we are truly grateful. They are currently recovering from a huge fire in their library, and we wish them all the best as they get up and running again.
Hebo was one of Lola’s first pupils. She then trained to help others and now works with Lola teaching. She wears the T-shirt with pride and great joy.
Lola watching Shalom practice Lesson 1 with Joanne, a 16 year old from the generation that is PNG's future.
Above - part of a wall at the International School.
Mary in full flow! She says, "The trainees just soak up whatever bits of information I give and they are so thankful to be offered the opportunity to learn. Each one of them brings a wealth of stories about their work with children and young women, from the heart wrenching to the joyous. All work with very little and give their time and knowledge willingly to teach reading to their charges. Some of the children are collected from the street in the morning, fed, washed and clothed, taught and then returned to the street till the next day. Many of their homes are without electricity but still they always complete our 'Review and Practice' sheets. On my first training one lady used the light from her mobile phone to complete the work!
Mary and Lola at the end of a hard and rewarding day's work!
To Contact Mary Gladstone: