Published on 2nd May 2013
Kapiti Coast builder Barry Binding leaves today (May 2) to spend six weeks as a VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad) volunteer, helping to finish building the Bougainville Library in Arawa.
The library – or haus stori – is the inspiration of Wellington writer Lloyd Jones, whose acclaimed 2007 novel Mister Pip is set in Bougainville. A movie version of the book will be released later this year.
Mr Binding, who is from Otaki, spent nine months last year as a VSA volunteer working with local carpenters to build the library, which was designed by Wellington architect Paul Kerr-Hislop. (Read about his assignment here.)
A container load of books for the library arrived in Bougainville two weeks ago. Another VSA volunteer will travel to Arawa soon to help local staff get the books on the shelves, and get the library up and running.
VSA International Programme Manager Peter Swain, who is a member of the Bougainville Library Trust, says local people are getting very excited now that the library is almost ready to open.
“The building is looking fantastic and people are really looking forward to being able to use it. It’s seen as a great community facility, and an important step in the rebuilding process after the devastation caused by a decade of conflict that ended in 1998.”