A book drive for Bulolo schools

Weekender

By MARJORIE FINKEO
SHE aims to collect 500 reading books by end of this year and help the unfortunate in the remotest parts of her Bulolo district in Morobe during her semester break early next year.
Leilani Jobeth Konjib, 22 from Morobe, Central and East Sepik a second year Diploma in Lae student at the University of Papua New Guinea, has created a book drive through which she is calling on any interested parties and individuals to donate books to her to help Bundun Primary School in Bulolo which is in desperate need for books to for students to enjoy.
“I’m inspired by this proverb that says if you give a man fish, he will always come back and ask you but if you teach a man how to fish he will never come and ask you but he will be able to help himself,” Konjib says.
She believes that education is very important because when we start to educate people we start to give them something that is valuable and can help them to be an innovative.
Konjib came up with the idea of collecting books and started off with her best friend Vinzealhar Nen from Southern Highlands and Morobe.
The book drive is called Henatu Durua, meaning help our children in the Koita language of Central.
She started off her schooling at Waigani Primary School in 2002 and completed Grade six there. She then moved to Carr Memorial Adventist Primary School to do Grades seven and eight from 2009 to 2010. She did Grade nine at Gerehu Secondary School in 2011 and enrolled at Port Moresby International School to complete her secondary education.
Her siblings are Lorris, Karen, Gregory and Craig Konjib.
She had held several leadership roles at schools while growing. In fact she was inspired by her father Greg Michael Konjib and elder sister Lorris Konjib to take up such roles.
She says the delivery of services along the Wau-Bulolo Highway is very poor with many schools in area lack ing proper facilities such as libraries.
She says she under her initiative to help schools she plans to start a small library at a school located in the Bundun Centre of Bulolo District, which is 66km from Lae city but takes a good four hours by PMV due to bad road conditions.
In her efforts to raise money for her project, Konjib also sells cupcakes at UPNG when she is not attending lectures. The money raised will be contributed to purchase new books and stationery. How can you help? You can donate a book or buy her cupcakes as all proceeds from the sales will go towards purchasing new books. You can like her Facebook page Henatu Durua.
She is looking at a whole range of books including encyclopaedias, non-fiction, fiction, as well as educational books for elementary and primary school pupils as well as stationery.
“Knowledge is power and education is key,” Konjib says.
She said if people cannot help others in the village to be literate they cannot be able to do the most basic things for themselves like reading drug prescriptions or doing basic arithmetic.
She recalls an incident where a woman who was pregnant but did not know about her condition and thought she was simply suffering a headache got the wrong medication because of a lack of education and her innocent trust of the health workers died the next day.
Only a few children in her small village of Gurako, located along the Wau-Bulolo Highway about 60km from Lae city, can access education.
On average, the highest education level children or young adults in the village have acquired was Grade three or four and not beyond that, Konjib said.
She said even with mining in the district there were still no enough done in terms of social services such as education for the people.
“You can see children walking many kilometres just to get education.”
She said some interested students at UPNG and outside the campus have donated books. The Bulolo Students Association has donated three boxes containing assorted children’s books and a 26-piece encyclopaedia.
Konjib is upbeat about her endeavour and the future.
“When we increase literary, we open more doors, we create innovation and we move forward.”

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