by Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby
A family of four is on a quest to help one million children in Papua New Guinea write their own books.
They hope to achieve this by 2025.
To date, John Yareki, his wife Morivei and their two young children have successfully published nine books in total.
The family is now on the path to becoming the first family of authors in PNG and if not, the Pacific. Eddy and Helen Yareki are no ordinary children.
At just 10 years old, Eddy released his first book, ‘Emperor of the Islands’ whilst his 14-year-old sister, Helen published a collection of original poems in her book Envi Our Times.
At the launch of his novel’s new cover today, Eddy encouraged children his age to develop a writing habit. For Eddy, it was his school adventure that inspired him to write his first book.
As for Helen, depending on the type of mood and situation she is in, her poem ideas are transferred into words when she is alone.
Following their first publications, both children have decided to leave school this year and concentrate on training other young children to write their own books. Their decision is strongly supported by their parents who are both former teachers turned writers.
Mother Morivei, who also published her book Leopard Stingray of Miaru, is proud of her children’s work and wants to see both develop their writing skills. Her book was translated into five other languages, including Milne Bay, Gulf and Enga.
The family aims to see young children write their own stories. They said it’s one way of helping children improve in public speaking and self-confidence.
The books come with audio and can help children learn to read at home before enrolling at schools.