There are very few home-grown children’s books in Vanuatu. The creative Nabanga Pikinini
series and government-developed school readers comprise the bulk of available Vanuatu children’s literature and relate primarily to custom stories and basic educational texts. In 2020, Vanuatu celebrates its 40th independence anniversary, a milestone for the country and an important reminder that nation-building is an ongoing project. This presents a valuable opportunity to contribute to national identity development through a project to enhance Vanuatu children’s literature for the next generation of leaders.
The project proposes to develop 40 short stories about 40 inspirational ni-Vanuatu people from diverse social, ethnic, linguistic, geographic, economic and physical backgrounds to celebrate 40 years of nationhood. Comprising 20 stories of women and 20 stories of men, the publication will help to grow the catalogue of Vanuatu children’s literature and encourage reading amongst a population where literacy levels are concerningly low (approximately 34% literacy at year 6 levels as reported by a national survey in 2012). The project is inspired in part by the globally successful “Rebel Girls (and Boys Who Dare to Be Different)” series, which introduces children aged 5–10 years to stories of everyday people who have taken brave steps to improve their communities and make a difference.
The project requires your help in suggesting interesting stories for inclusion in the publication.
Please let us know who has inspired you and why they should be included in a story book for children!
For more information, visit Vanuatu Children’s Literature on Facebook