THE Frieda River adult literacy programme saw the first batch of its local workforce receiving certificates.
This was witnessed on two separate occasions last Friday and Sunday by the Xstrata Frieda River workforce at the two work sites, Frieda base camp and Horse Ivaal.
The programme was an initiative of the community affairs division of the company in 2007.
Anna Apop, community liaison officer, heard the needy cries of the local miners and decided the company had a responsibility to help miners of the seven impact villages.
Such was the birth of the adult literacy programme in the same year with a two-week workshop run by two IEA pioneer trainers, Lucy Kula and Robert Cyprian.
General manager Dugi Wilson engaged the training and development unit of IEA to run the literacy programme full time last year.
Mr Wilson presented the certificates and also briefed the staff on the phases and progress of the mine.
“Being older is not easy, it makes learning difficult. But perseverance pays off for the hard work in the end,” he said.
The programme enrolled 162 participants who attended two-hour classes at night after their day shift.
Participants came from the seven impact villages; Paupi, Wabia, Okisai, Amauromin, Wameimin 1 and 2, and Hotmin.
Many of the participants said the programme was enhancing and enriching not only
to them in their workplaces but also to their families.
The programme was assisted by two newspaper agencies, Word Publishing Ltd and the South Pacific Post donating newspapers and magazines to enhance the training.
Word Publishing Ltd further offered their assistance to the literacy programme by donating 50 weekly papers this year.
Due to the large number of participants, classes were divided into beginners or emergent, those who had none or little education and primary with education levels up to Grades 6.
The intermediate were those who left in Grades 7 or 8, and finally the advance were those who had year 9 and 10 education background.
The programme has started enrolling new intakes for this year.