A recently established literacy organisation in the Solomon Islands has won Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s heart for its mission to battle the country’s high illiteracy rate by providing literacy classes and libraries in 600 villages across the country by April 2018.

As a result, “READ SI” which stands for “Resources for Education to Advance Development in Solomon Islands” was given a SB$2 million assistance under a partnership programme between the Solomon Islands Government and the Republic of China, ROC (Taiwan) today.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and ROC Ambassador H.E. Roger Luo handed over the SB$2 million cheque to Ms Joyce Boykin, Founder of READ SI in the presence of the Organisation’s teachers and senior government officials.

Expressing his deepest appreciation to the Organisation, Prime Minister Sogavare reiterated his earlier pledge to the Organisation last year saying, “My Government will be an ally in this fight against illiteracy”.

“We all know that illiteracy was and still is a concern amongst the rural people yet for some of us Solomon Islanders, it was convenient to have this issue swept under the mat,” Mr Sogavare said.

The money will assist the Organisation to advance development by teaching people and providing them with books on informal topics, such as making and saving money, economic planning, better farming methods, strengthening families, creating healthier communities, good governance and helping people with disabilities.

“Our belief is that when people get the information they want, they will be better decision makers and problem solvers,” said Ms Boykin during the handover ceremony.

“The most powerful way to receive information is by reading and studying it. Smart people deserve that opportunity and that is the main goal of the National Literacy Campaign,” she explained.

ROC Ambassador, Roger Luo said literacy or education is a key ingredient in development and his Government has valued education so much that they are keen to share their experience with countries like Solomon Islands to elevate the level of literacy in programmes such as the National Literacy Campaign.

“ROC (Taiwan) is keen to help in such a valuable endeavor and we are ready to assist when called upon to help,” Ambassador Luo said.

READ SI was started by Ms Boykin in 2015 and has since depended largely on funding by local businesses in Solomon Islands.

Since its inception, the organization trained teachers and dispatched them to villages around the country. With its successes in 2015 and 16, READ SI is targeting 600 villages across the country by April 2018.

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