Founders of the book-gain-ville project Colin Cowell and former ABG President James Tanis were at the Pacific Adventist University (PAU) PNG Symposium to give a presentation on the Bougainville education revolution using Kindle e-readers known as ‘Bookgainville’, an initiative to improve literacy throughout Bougainville.
Bookgainville is the brainchild of Colin Cowell, from Canberra in Australia who once lived in Bougainville almost forty (40) years ago.
Cowell spent twenty-four (24) years working with and training Aboriginal communities across Australia.
He found his calling to help the people of the former crisis-torn island of Bougainville on a trip to deliver e-readers to students in a remote Panguna village.
Cowell started the Bookgainville project in Australia, with the guidance and support of the Indigenous Reading Project.
The project was launched at the Narinai Elementary school in Panguna district, the home of former ABG President James Tanis. It was then that the first 20 kindles were given, with feasting and celebration to signify the importance of the occasion.
The Bookgainville project is gaining momentum, with support technology and trained staff at the Arawa Women’s Training Centre. Cowell affirmed that sustainability is the key to the Bookgainville project.
A leadership group on ground, led by Mr James Tanis, is comprised of teachers and IT volunteers. The Kindles can contain up to 1400 books inside and cost $99 (Australian dollars).
The use of Kindles in third world countries has proven to be an outright success, using digital platforms and mobile connectivity to make books available to children and families who need them the most.
And with mobile use being prevalent in developing countries, such as PNG, World reader has also created a mobile app for android and featured phone devises. For the first time, folks have access to a library of books using a devise they own: their mobile phones.
In developing countries throughout the world, it has been seen that after 5 months in the e-reader Kindle program, children show significant improvements in fluency and comprehension.
The Bookgainville initiative has developed 11 libraries already in schools that never had libraries or books before, with each requiring 5 e-reader kindles with each kindle able to hold up to 1400 books.
The Bookgainville project received positive feedback at the PNG symposium and both Mr Cowell and Mr Tanis were greatly pleased by the outcome.
Donations to support the project to purchase Kindles for schools in Bougainville can be made by contacting Collin Cowell on or +61401331251 or you can visit www.bookgainville.com for more information.
“Bougainville now leads the way in PNG developing and using digital education technology”
– Colin Cowell
Photo Source: Colin Cowell