Buk Bilong Pikikinini celebrated a decade long partnership with SEAFAST and Express Freight Management.
Exactly ten years ago, the organisation received its first shipment of children’s books.
In 2009 SEAFAST stepped in and set up collection points in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and assisted with transportation of books from Canberra, where Buk Bilong Pikinini has an office and collection point at the PNG High Commission. As books are collected, they are then sorted, packed and delivered to SEAFAST, which ships them free of charge to Papua New Guinea.
After the first shipment was received in September 2009, more than 367 shipments have followed, amounting to more than 287,000 kilos of children’s books. The organisation has calculated that this corresponds to one million children’s books. These books have already had a huge impact on children in communities across PNG, who have learned to read and love books as a result of Buk bilong Pikinini’s Early Childhood Literacy and Development program.
Brett Magnay,, Managing Director at SEAFAST Pty. Ltd. said: “SEAFAST at its core, is shipping to PNG. We deal with hundreds of businesses and thousands of Papua New Guineans, we are proud to call them clients, customers and friends. For SEAFAST to give back a little to the country and community that we love is a privilege. It is comforting to see the support we give is going directly to the next generation.
It is thanks to a vast network of in-kind donations paired with financial support from corporate partners, the Australian government and various organisations that Buk bilong Pikinini has been able – over the last 12 years – to establish 21 Library Learning Centres and donate books and school library kits to hundreds of schools across Papua New Guinea.
Most schools in PNG no longer have a library. The further the schools are from the nation’s capital the more costly it can be to procure books to support the children’s education. The lack of books has serious consequences for literacy levels and Buk Bilong Pikinini aims to change this.
Anne-Sophie Hermann, Founder & Chair of Buk Bilong Pikinini said: “Bringing one million books to Papua New Guinea is not a small task but it is a huge milestone that we are extremely proud of. Thanks to our network of book donors, our volunteers packing and transporting the books to collection points, together with the professional logistical support from SEAFAST and EFM, means that we can continue to bring beautiful children’s books to PNG. SEAFAST is a a vital partner in ensuring we have a constant flow of books and their team is an absolute pleasure to work with.