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Empowering and enabling people to contribute positively to the communities they live in is what
Oil Search Limited (OSL) and Oil Search Foundation (OSF) promotes through its small grants program.

The program offers OSL staff the opportunity to become change agents in their communities. Grants are awarded to staff who want to pursue a project that focuses on improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), or addressing family and sexual violence. This year, with the outbreak of COVID-19, special emphasis was also placed on projects that will help communities prevent the spread of the virus.

Since the inception of the program in 2016, OSF has funded 76 community projects in 17 provinces. An estimated 26,000 people have benefited directly from these projects. This year, 27 staff members were awarded their small grants to implement their individual community projects.

Peter Kantete, a 2018 grants recipient, set out to improve life for his community by installing solar lights in his home village of Marmar in Pomio District, East New Britain Province.

“I wanted a safer village at night especially for women and girls, lighting for children and young people to read and study, and amenities that allowed night-time meetings.
- Peter Kantete 2018 grants recipient

“This grant enabled me to provide good lighting for my community who previously used kerosene lamps as their main source of lighting.” He continued.

Jenny Kaumana, 2020 grant recipient said, “since the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, violence against women and girls particularly domestic violence has increased and I’ve also witnessed this happening in the community I live in. My project aims to address domestic violence through awareness raising.” She said.

OSL Country Manager, Leon Buskens said, “OSF is aware that many people play multiple informal leadership roles in helping their communities to find solutions to local and social issues. We also know that sometimes a small amount of funding can help make a difference which often leads to a bigger positive and sustainable outcome for a community.” He said.