Project name: PNG Literacy and Numeracy Project and COVID-19 Response Project
Project aim: To support communities to become more resilient and able to address their own development challenges in partnership with others.
Period evaluated: July 2017 – June 2022
Date of evaluation: Jan – Feb 2023
Through Anglicare PNG’s Church Partnership Program, supported by AID, communities across five Anglican dioceses in PNG became more resilient. They increased their awareness of COVID and other disaster risks, built partnerships with local institutions, and helped early school leavers to improve their numeracy and literacy skills.
The evaluation found that Anglicare PNG organised literacy classes for more than 2,400 literacy learners each year from July 2017 to June 2021, and 1,687 learners in the year July 2021 to June 2022 (numbers were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic). Over the entire four-year period, roughly half of all learners were women. A small proportion of learners used their new literacy and numeracy skills to progress to formal education or gain wage employment. Many more used their new skills in local market transactions, began reading simple messages such as mobile phone texts, and gained confidence in decision making and in assisting with their children’s school homework. Through the literacy classes and through Anglicare PNG’s awareness raising sessions on gender equality, women were found to have increased their confidence level in community activities.
In addition, Anglicare PNG successfully mobilised local resource people to run trainings in livelihoods areas such as sewing, cooking, baking, screen printing, soap/oil making, and financial literacy. As part of its response to COVID-19, Anglicare PNG provided materials and technical assistance to assist local people to install water tanks and hand washing facilities at schools, health centres and other community buildings.
The evaluator did not say the program was perfect. In particular, he noted that Anglicare PNG could better support volunteer teachers in the communities by providing more training to them, better equipping the literacy schools, and conducting more frequent monitoring visits to the schools.
“I am so grateful that this AL project had come into our parish. Most of our community members who are Anglican and non-Anglican are benefiting from this project. I am now able to read and write and also helped my children with their homework which I am not used to before.”
Female Literacy Learner, Christ the King Parish (Banz), Jimi Deanery
“I see that this project has benefited many of our AL illiterate learners and their family members. In the past, illiterate women always wanted to sell their garden produce at the market but feel reluctant because they are scared, they might give wrong change if they receive K100.00 or K50.00 from the customers. Sometimes they go to the market but they ask other women to assist them. In this process, they can be easily cheated. …But now after the literacy class, women are always at the market to sell their garden produce. They can be able to give correct change if they are being given larger notes. I can see the smiles on the women’s face because they have the money in their bags (bilum)”.
Male Literacy teacher, Christ the King Parish (Banz), Jimi Deanery
“The COVID-19 information training that we have received has increased our level of understanding of COVID-19 facts on transmission and prevention. It was a new strain of virus and we have less information on the virus transmission and prevention at that time. After undertaking this training, we were able to return to work with confidence and attend to our sick patients.”
Sr. Annette, Sister-in-Charge, Dogura Health Centre