Literacy school continues to expand

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Wildlife, Papua New Guinea

A large open air classroom was one of a number of buildings recently opened at the Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School in the village of Wildlife near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG).

To be here and witness the emotion when the ladies saw their room and slept in it the first night was overwhelming.

The building was donated by Digicel, one of PNG’s largest telecommunications companies. 

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the classroom, a Digicel (PNG) executive said the literacy school, which is supported by Operation Food For Life (OFFL), was chosen because of the excellent academic record of its students during its brief history. She also paid tribute to the school’s commitment and involvement in the Wildlife community.

A small house was built next to the school by OFFL for volunteer principal Ogasta Tabie and her husband Daniel. The couple had been living in a worn-down structure next to the school. 

The old Tabie home . . .

. . . and the new Tabie home.

New accommodation was also provided for volunteer teachers Kessner and Kope, who have been with the Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School since it opened in 2012. 

OFFL co-founder Dennis Perry said the teachers screamed with joy when they were introduced to their new home.

“To be here and witness the emotion when the ladies saw their room and slept in it the first night was overwhelming,” he said.

Volunteer teachers Kessner and Kope inside their new home.

The new buildings come a year after Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Deborah Stokes, opened an extension at the literacy school. “From small beginnings a seed is planted and bigger things grow,” she said at the time.