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Papua New Guinea: Literacy, Language & Numeracy Project, and Positive Parenting

Student Soke Andrew from Anglicare PNG’s Adult Literacy Program in Papua New Guinea. © Ivy Wang/ ABM, 2019.
Student Soke Andrew from Anglicare PNG’s Adult Literacy Program in Papua New Guinea. © Ivy Wang/ ABM, 2019.

From participating more in church leadership, to improved self-confidence, to mobilising a community to build a road, to becoming a church pastor – these are just some of the impacts on people who have learned to read, write and do basic maths through the Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy Project implemented in many parts of PNG by ABM’s partner, Anglicare PNG.

Read the stories below of James, Salome, Silvester and Benjamin to find out more.

James, 32, who graduated from the Anglicare Adult Literacy School in Port Moresby, talked about how his whole life had changed since doing the Literacy program:

“I tell my brother and sister, ‘you must look after your children and put them into school’. I learned beating your wife is not good.

"We changed our family, our whole community. Everything’s completely changed. We have stopped the street fighting and we now talk to people who drink too much to get them to stop”.

Currently James is studying in Morota Technical School, learning how to cut steel.

Salome, 19, from Sagsag in New Guinea Islands Diocese, completed year 7 of formal schooling but without being able to read or write. Now, although her reading is not great, she can read the easier words on posters. She said she had become confident at reading prices at the local market and in shops. Her teacher, a catechist, had also held discussions in class about social issues like HIV-AIDS, gender and alcohol. When asked about the biggest change in her life, Salome said, “Now I can talk to my peer group. Before I was an observer. I didn’t feel free to talk”. Salome’s ambition is to become a nun.

Silvester, who is about 50 years old, and also from Sagsag, completed grade 6 when he was 10, then stopped school and followed his parents into the bush. Silvester is a fisherman. Since attending the local literacy school, he has become confident reading Tok Pisin. He is even learning to speak basic English. Silvester wanted to learn English but since neither he nor his teacher have a guidebook, they have started using English language children’s story books provided by the local primary school. Silvester’s ambition is to buy a bigger boat and become a ‘fishing businessman’.

Kwiop Adult Literacy classes have incorporated a practicum into the curriculum, where learners have to lead Morning Prayer or take part in liturgy for six weeks prior to graduating. The learners themselves built the classroom, and the assistant teacher noted, “Now the women are taking roles in the church, taking part in activities and contributing ideas into the community. The community even got together to build this road.”

Benjamin, from Kwiop, always wanted to engage in religious work but was unable to because he had never attended school, and could not read or write. After graduating from the Anglicare Literacy School he was appointed a community pastor for his church. He has been happily doing this role for more than a year now and is very thankful that the Adult Literacy Project enabled him to realise his dream.

This year we aim to provide literacy, language and numeracy skills to more than 2,500 women and men in PNG. We also aim to provide new or refresher training to 50 literacy teachers, and to start up a PNG version of the Mothers’ Union Positive Parenting Program.

Your donation to this project will support the continuation of this very successful Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy program. It will also support the rolling out of a new PNG version of the Positive Parenting Program through the Mothers’ Union. For many years, this program has been training parents in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu how to develop positive relationships with their children and each other and is now ready to start in Papua New Guinea. ABM is very excited to be supporting it, and invites you to help us to do so.

» In 2020 the Literacy, Language & Numeracy project and Positive Parenting needs $70,000 (tax-deductible)

  • Teaching materials for one literacy class of up to 25 people cost $130 per year
  • A training workshop for teachers typically costs $100 per teacher
  • An annual teachers allowance costs $700
  • Transportation costs for each of the participating mothers from deaneries in Oro Province costs $20 per person
  • A Positive Parenting Manual for each participant in the ‘Train the Trainers’ course cost $75
  • Cost of training new Positive Parenting facilitators in a 10-day residential workshop is $1000 per person



Donate now to this project



  • Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code PG005ED with your payment details.

Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.

 Australian Aid logo    This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.
Community Development badge  This is part of the Community Development Program: Learn more about ABM's Programs