A box of delights for students in Papua New Guinea

A box of delights for students in Papua New Guinea

Mandy Glass, our Communications Officer in Papua New Guinea, shared her love of reading recently with 80 high school students through the gift of books.

I learnt about Bookends International through a missionary’s Facebook post. The ministry is run by a book-lover called Jeanne, whose experience growing up in a remote Alaskan village, inspired her to begin the work, sending books to isolated missionary kids in remote corners of the world. 

We unfortunately don’t have children by our own, so I decided to make the request on behalf of the remote Oksapmin High School. The school library is little more than a row of shelves with some very old and well-read books.  

I shared my idea of ordering a box of inspiring reading material with Jeanne, who helped me go through the online catalogue of books, compiling a list of titles from biographies to books about science, history, geography, culture and art. We chose books that would inspire and educate.

When the box of arrived ten days later, my husband Mathias, who is a pilot, was a bit jealous - the selection including three aviation books, explaining the physics and techniques of flying with colourful drawings. But the books were repacked ready to be flown by MAF to Tekin where they were enthusiastically received by the students. 

Students at Oksapmin High School PNG

Books on scientific topics were particularly popular, according to head-teacher Glenda Giles. A student called Kasi chose the book The Visual Dictionary of the Universe, about which he said 'I am very interested in reading the book because it fed me with the knowledge of the universe.' Kasi also said that he liked the pictures and was particularly interested to read about Mercury and the clothing that astronauts wear.

Franko, another student, said 'I'm interested to read Isaac Newton's book because it contains a lot of facts that bring unsolved scientific problems to a solution. It tells me that anyone with an intelligent brain can develop something new’. 

Sura said she was very interested to read about the brain and the muscles in a book about the human body, and had ‘never seen pictures and diagrams like those in the book before’.  

The reaction of the schools excited, inquisitive students were thanks enough for Mandy, who was happy to be able to support the school in this way.   

MAF regularly flies to Tekin with teachers and essential school supplies. It was great on this occasion to be able to fly what the teachers delightedly described as ‘the best selected little set of books we have ever received!’ 

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