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group of children trying on gumboots at literacy library with staff member's help

Every child regardless of their age, race, gender, wealth or birthplace has rights. When children’s rights are protected, they stand a much better chance of living a happy life, reaching their full potential in life.

One basic right of any child is education. In rural areas of Papua New Guinea, barriers such as accessibility, good nutrition, lack of family income and availability of proper school attire hinders a child from exercising their right to be in school.

Many children walk long distances, often without shoes through rough conditions putting them at risk of injury and illness.

Realising this challenge and to celebrate International Children’s Day in 2019, Oil Search Limited and Oil Search Foundation (OSF) staff, through a donation of K20.00 each from their own pockets, purchased and donated 150 gumboots to four-to-six-year-old school children attending Kikori and Habare Literacy Libraries.

Although this year was a challenging one for most schools, including our literacy libraries in Hela and Kikori, they managed to remain open for these children who continued to consistently attend classes.

With the children’s willingness to learn, the gumboots were an incentive for them to maintain their enthusiasm to go to school. Despite being a small gesture, it was quite meaningful for these children who often attend classes barefoot.

OSF Community Development Program Manager, Daisy Raburabu said, “The gumboots donation not only will transport these young kids to and from school but will empower them to understand that attending class every day is their right and so they must be well equipped in order to go to school. It is exciting to note that these children now look forwards to their walk to school every day”

"Seeing the smiles on these children’s faces brings joy to our hearts. Given the wet weather conditions in Kikori, most times children miss classes because the place is wet and muddy, and they do not have the proper footwear. Since OSF delivered the gumboots, we have not seen any absenteeism from them during rainy periods."
- Cathy Morris Teacher in Kikori Literacy Library