23 Dec 2009

NZ book drive helps Bougainville schools

6:43 pm on 23 December 2009

More than five tonnes of books are on their way to Papua New Guinea's province of Bougainville after a huge community project in New Zealand.

Books that were no longer required were donated by schools in the Otago region of the South Island after an appeal was launched by local educational book retailer, Bill Saxton.

Three Rotary clubs in Wellington then pitched in to help fund the transport and pack and label nearly 20,000 books.

The President of the Hutt City Rotary Club, Murray Brockelsby, says the books will be distributed by New Zealand police stationed in Bougainville:

"The books are going to secondary schools, I believe there are three secondary schools and the pupils in the schools, because there has been civil unrest for so long, the pupils range in age right up to twenty-five who are just getting their first chance of education so the importance of these people being educated was just immense."

Mr Brockelsby says this is the second shipment of books, after a smaller load was sent to primary schools last year.

The books include text books, reading books and class sets of journals.