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OSL Safety Officer Joseph Rangan speaks at the launch of the Disaster Series Toolkits.

Disaster preparedness saves lives.

Oil Search Foundation, which supported the relief effort in Hela and the Southern Highlands following the devastating earthquake which hit the region last February, knows this well.

In a high level visit to Oil Search sites, the Foundation shared with staff and contractors disaster preparedness toolkits at a Champions of Change event hosted by Foundation Chairman and Oil Search Managing Director, Mr Peter Botten.

Nearly 200 staff turned out for the event at Lagidome from Ridge, Moro and Fofari camps.

Oil Search staff from the Ridge and Moro camps at the launch of the Disaster Series Toolkits.

The Champions of Change (CoC) program is a unique way to assist company and foundation staff address issues in their local communities with the provision of tools and support for projects via small grants up to K5,000.

The toolkits provide information on what causes earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos and landslips, and how to recognise impending danger. They also provide advise on how to prepare for a disaster, what to do and not do if one occurs.

The tool kits were developed with input from the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards.

Mr Botten encouraged staff to use their skills and continue to be a voice for positive change in the community. He encouraged staff to take home the toolkits, apply for small grants and share their Champion of Change stories.

“It’s part of our D.N.A from the top down,” he said.

Oil Search is a company well recognised for its leadership and passion in development. Staff are proud to be part of an organisation that genuinely cares about them and their communities, like a family.

Since inception in 2016, small grants have directly impacted 6,000 people in 13 provinces and 45 different communities. Small grants help foster a culture of continual learning and sharing of ideas.

Gibe Talu, for example, has developed a program to mentor young people from his village who now live in Port Moresby.

“These boys are from tribes other than my own, some of them are students at the university while some attend secondary school. The vision I have is for these young men from different tribes to live peacefully together. When they return home, they will bring the message that we are brothers and it is possible to coexist in peace. It is my hope that in five years, this will begin to influence change in our province.”
- Gibe Talu Hela-born Champion of Change

Other Champions, meanwhile, have delivered activities on family and sexual violence, health and education, law and order, women’s leadership, and sanitation and hygiene.

Oil Search Foundation Executive Director Stephanie Copus-Campbell says: “When you work at Oil Search or the Oil Search Foundation, you don’t just bring home a wage.

“You have respect within your community and knowledge and skills that are transferable. You know how to prevent malaria and HIV, the importance of hand washing, the power of literacy, what to do in earthquake, and why it’s important to immunise children. “When this knowledge is shared with others, who in turn pass it on, the result is like little pebbles in a pond: ever-widening circles of knowledge that, slowly but surely, help to turn the tide. It is called the ripple effect. “We are proud to have a first-class workforce. But what makes us prouder still is having first-class citizens."
- Stephanie Copus-Campbell Oil Search Foundation Executive Director