Duffy Books in Homes is a literacy programme that provides books to lower-decile primary / intermediate schools and early childhood centres in New Zealand.
The programme started in 1994, and to date over 13 million books have been given to students, changing lives over 25 years.
An important part of this programme model is that sponsorship provides a “hands-up” rather than a “hand-out” approach to sponsorship for schools that wish to participate.
Brenda reports that in the Food Parcel Assistance for Glen Taylor School (GTS) during lockdown, in which much of the congregation was involved, a total of $2,370 was donated by us which meant many families in their local communities were helped. The principal of GTS and Clay put together a Sunday Zoom service on 17th May which was much enjoyed.
When asked how we could best help advocate for GTS, the principal suggested we could help ensure the promised upgrade to the school property actually occurs, support an increase in wages for Teacher Aids, and continue to press for an end to child poverty and a reduction in inequality.
Our Peace and Social Justice
(PSJ) sponsorship of the Glen Taylor School, which enables their
participation in the Duffy Books in Homes programme, continues to
reward us with great satisfaction. The children are thriving with the
supplied books. PSJ representatives will attend a role model assembly
at the school in March and I’m sure Brenda and Gary will provide
more details on that after we’ve been.
On Friday, 29th March 2019, Gary and Brenda Bendall, Paul Henriques and Angela Wadham attended the Role Model Assembly at Glen Taylor School, Glendowie, on behalf of the church, and assisted in the Duffy presentation of books to pupils. It was a pleasure to be part of this school event, and our Church was thanked by students for our sponsorship.
What does Amnesty do? We investigate and expose the facts, whenever and wherever abuses happen. We lobby governments, and other powerful groups such as companies. Making sure they keep their promises and respect international law. Each month we write letters in response to Rapid Action requests from Amnesty International. The October letter is written for the Nicaraguan student leaders and others who had been arrested and detained for exercising their rights to peaceful protest about the Nicaraguan authorities increasingly repressive strategies including promoting a Shoot to Kill Strategy and Repression of Social Protest in Nicaragua. One of the students arrested is a young medical student and cousin of a New Zealand citizen.
Duffy Books in Homes
Gary, Paul, Angela and Brenda were very happy to attend the Duffy Role Model’s Assembly at Glen Taylor School last month. Thanks to the PSJ Group and the Church’s congregation, our Church is able to provide 50% of the cost of new books distributed to the pupils at Glen Taylor School on an ongoing basis. The books given are ones that the children choose, and take home to keep. Quite a moving thought isn’t it, helping kids build up a Library of their own at home! The students were a delight and the staff welcoming. We look forward to building a closer relationship with the school’s management and students, with possible assistance in other areas. We hope to be able to bring some ideas for participation to the congregation early next year.
Pacific Dyslexia Programme
Paul reports that the Tongan dyslexia project ran well this year and has now finished as students are busy after school studying for their end of year exams. The tutors from the Library Trust we work with are looking forward to next year. In Samoa the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture have restarted the dyslexia project on a small scale and have asked about our idea of developing a Samoan version of the Steps dyslexia programme.