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Building the next generation of Papua New Guinean leaders

Group of participants from the Scholarships' Program

The Scholarships’ Program, managed by the Oil Search Foundation (OSF) and funded by Oil Search Limited (OSL) is contributing to building the next generation of Papua New Guinean leaders.

Like other scholarship programs, it supports students financially with tuition fees and living costs. What is unique about the program is the strong focus on leadership and good governance. This enables students to reach their full personal and professional potential and contribute to the development of PNG.

The Foundation has partnered with The Voice Inc., a local youth organisation that works with young people to build their confidence and create avenues for them to contribute to their communities. Through this partnership, each scholarship recipient receives leadership training and undertakes a leadership assignment to enable them to contribute positively to their self-development, their future workplace and to the governance of their nation.

Following completion of the degree and leadership program, successful graduates will be placed in organisations with strong governance so that they can further practice their leadership skills.

“Our dream is to one day support up to 300 young men and women every year through the scholarship program in a way that creates a cadre of leaders who can support each other to drive change for their communities and country. We invite others in the private sector to join us,” said ,
- Stephanie Copus Campbell Executive Director - Oil Search Foundation

One of the Foundation’s scholarship recipients, Jonathan Mesa, a 2018 final year medical student at the University of Papua New Guinea, said his scholarship was timely in more ways than one. Through the scholarship, Mesa could focus on his studies without worrying about school fees and other related financial challenges.

“I plan to carry out an aid assessment in my village to determine the health priorities, as well as awareness on reproductive health and family planning”, Jonathan explained, when asked about his participation in leadership and community projects.

Another recipient of the scholarship, Kaludia Wera, also a 2018 final year medical student at the University of Papua New Guinea, discussed her experience in the leadership training, “What’s important is the type of leader you are going to be; you want to be the type of leader that sets a good benchmark and pass that value on. It’s a process and you have to be able to mentor other leaders as well”.

This year, Oil Search Foundation and its partners aim to award 26 scholarships, in the health and education fields of study.