Extension opened at PNG literacy school

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Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (PNG) Ms Deborah Stokes opened an extension at the Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School in Port Moresby earlier this month.

The Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School currently provides free education to 160 students, many of whom would otherwise be unable to attend school.

Other special guests at the event included PNG Union Conference president Pastor Leigh Rice and his wife Barbara, Central Papua Conference president Pastor Kove Tau, Operation Food For Life (OFFL) co-founders David Woolley and Dennis Perry, and OFFL PNG directors Phillip and Maureen Vaki.
 

Australian High Commissioner to PNG Ms Deborah Stokes and OFFL co-founder Dennis Perry present an Australian flag to school principal Ogasta Tabie.

Pastors Rice and Kove thanked God for his blessing upon the school and its teachers and students. They also paid tribute to the OFFL team and volunteer teachers for their passion and dedication to the project. 

The literacy school project began in 2012 after OFFL volunteers were introduced to Ogasta Daniel, who was teaching literacy skills to a group of children under a house in Port Moresby.

Mr Perry says Ms Daniel had been teaching for two hours a day for more than two years, seeking nothing in return. “The only resource she had was a whiteboard.”
 

 

The original school under the house.

Through the financial support of Rob and Jan Patterson—whom the school is named after—and their family, and donations from Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, a new school building was established in September 2013.

The Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School currently provides free education to 160 students, many of whom would otherwise be unable to attend school. Ms Daniel serves as principal of the school.
 

 

 Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School’s first graduation class.

The school celebrated its first graduation in December 2013, with 11 children completing their studies and gaining eligibility to attend primary school.

For more information about the Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School, as well as other OFFL projects, visit <www.offl.org.au/projects>.