South Pacific: Opening Eyes Through Literacy


Bible Society Australia is partnering with the Bible Society of the South Pacific and the Literacy Association, Solomon Islands, to implement the literacy project, ‘Open My Eyes’. This project is aimed at increasing literacy, and equipping people to read and engage with the Scriptures, which have now been translated into many local languages.

While 90% of Solomon Islanders surveyed had some formal schooling, functional literacy rates in major provinces can be as low as 7 to 17%. Young people lack the education and experience they need to find
paid work, which is a major problem in the Solomon Islands.

There is good availability of Scriptures in local languages, with the New Testament translated into 19 languages so far, and the full Bible into three, including the Pijin language, which is widely spoken.

However, with literacy rates so low, reading the Scriptures — let alone understanding them — is a struggle for many people. Many youths and adults also struggle to participate in church activities because of illiteracy, and are deprived of the confidence they need to participate in their communities. The lack of functional literacy constrains the life and livelihood of many Solomon Islanders.


  • 680,000 people live in the Solomon Islands
  • 75 languages have been recorded in the Solomon Islands (4 of which are now extinct)
  • In major provinces there is a 7–17% rate of functional literacy
  • 97.4% of the population are affiliated with Christianity

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