Prison literacy in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, Bible-based literacy classes for prisoners are having unexpected benefits. Within the prisons, literacy rates have increased to the point where many prisoners are now able to read their Bibles on their own, bringing positive changes in behaviour in its wake.

Prisoners display the Bibles they received on completion of a literacy class.
Prisoners display the Bibles they received on completion of a literacy class.

As well, some prisoners are being trained to teach literacy to others, giving them a greatly increased sense of responsibility and fresh hope of starting a new life after they are released.

Some have gone on to establish their own literacy classes in the community.

Other prisoners are involved in translating Bible stories into their heart language. Once translated, the stories are published as booklets and made available in local primary schools for children to use.

For all concerned – prisoners, prison officers and local communities – the literacy classes are helping to bring about positive change and are breaking down barriers of fear.

Bible Society New Zealand supporters recently gave gifts to support literacy projects, such as this one, in countries around the world.

This article is from The Word at Work – Summer 2011.

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