READ SI recently received a very large grant from Taiwan and Solomon Islands’ Governments.
Joyce Boykin was grateful for their generous contribution to literacy and libraries in the villages.
Ms Boykin recently stated, “Now the pressure is on to spend the money wisely and carefully so hundreds of villages can be reached”.
Phase 1 teachers were sent to 17 villages in May – July and this actually impacted 33 villages because in some areas there were people from surrounding villages attending classes.
One story comes from East Malaita about the ‘Forgotten People’ as they call themselves.
The two READ SI teachers took a 6 hour boat trip to Auki, a five hour truck ride down south, a three hour canoe trip further south and then climbed for 3 hours to the top of the mountain.
The teachers reported that they thought they weren’t going to be able to make it up the mountain at one time.
But, they did and were met in the custom way by warriors, gifts, a big feast and speeches.
When these teachers started their classes they had 40 students, but within a few days they had almost 200.
Everyone wanted to learn to read and to learn English.
The problem was no one spoke Pijin and the teachers didn’t speak Kwaio. Luckily, there were a few people in the village who were able to translate the lessons into Kwaio and all went well, a bit slowly, but all was good.
These teachers experienced the profound joy of serving others and watching how happy people can be when they are learning something new.
By the time they left after 6 weeks, several people were reading at the 2nd grade level and all were enjoying the simple books that were given to them as gifts to keep practicing their newly acquired reading skills.
READ SI is looking at all different ways to reach people across the nation and will be using existing networks and churches.
There is also a Prison Program that may be starting very soon, plus the Honiara Campaign which offers reading classes in people’s homes.
Right now there are classes in a Borderline neighborhood (17 students) and in Kaibia home (15 students).
READ SI is blessed with the funding needed to reach many different people in villages, homes, prisons and churches.
“This is a commitment to the people of this nation. God bless Solomon Islands,” Ms Boykin said.