WOMEN’S PROTECTION & EMPOWERMENT
The Foundation’s approach to Women’s Protection and Empowerment supports Oil Search’s company-wide workforce initiatives as well as focusing on key community priorities.
The Foundation works alongside Oil Search to ensure employees have access to information and support to address gender based violence aswell as lead positive change within their communities.
For example, the Foundation is implementing a small grants programme that allows staff access to funds to deliver targeted activities around the prevention of family and sexual violence.
Community programmes include:
working with faith-based leaders in Gulf and Southern Highlands to help them deliver appropriate messaging and support;
providing support to women’s groups at Hela Provincial Hospital to improve security;
providing men with the tools to be champions for change; and
·supporting national women’s organisations, such as the Business Coalition for Women and the Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee, in their important work.
Between 2016 and 2018 the Foundation worked with partners to maintain and strengthen the Family Support Centre (FSC) in Hela and to make sure women and children experiencing family and sexual violence had access to basic services in the health system. By 2018 the PHA had taken over full responsibility for the FSC and our resources are now directed at addressing family and sexual violence as a national challenge and working to support the new initiative, Bel isi, to support private sector leadership for change.
The overall goal of the Oil Search Foundation (OSF) Small Grants Program is to equip and enable Oil Search staff and contractors to play a leadership role in their communities to address Family and Sexual Violence (FSV) and other local issues that have a negative impact on women and girls. This is in line with our core belief at Oil Search that Papua New Guineans know what is best for PNG and ensures that our staff play a leading role in their communities to solve problems and change behaviour.
The Foundation does this by:
Encouraging staff to apply for grants of K3,000.00 to K5,000 to address problems in their communities that relate to FSV;
Equipping them with tools and knowledge to support the delivery of their projects;
Encouraging successful applicants to actively engage their communities in small grant projects
Providing advice on how to work with other partners to scale the impact of their work if this seems appropriate and achievable’.
Subject to budget allocation, every year the Foundation will support up to 20 OSL employees and contractors to carry out community projects through the provision of small grant funding. This year, as a result of the recent earthquake, we are also placing some emphasis on projects which will help communities recover from disasters or to be better prepared for natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslips, floods and drought.
Bel isi PNG
Bel isi PNG is a public private partnership to address family and sexual violence (FSV). It engages the private sector through addressing violence as a cost of doing business. Bel isi PNG offers employees who experience FSV professional support so that they can return to work and perform better.
Private sector companies are invited to pay a subscription fee. For this fee they will receive:
support to develop policies and procedures,
information and advice to their employees on how to access services
access for the employees and immediate family members to the Bel Isi PNG case management centre and safe house
an invitation to be part of a senior leadership forum where we will share information and best practice on addressing FSV. This will be delivered through an annual leadership event (which you are helping to launch) and regular newsletters.
Invitation for all employees to participate in annual walk across Port Moresby and a breakfast to mark the Day to End Violence Against Women.
The geneses of Bel isi PNG was a donation of a building to use as a safe house and case management centre by two local private sector companies respectively (Bank of South Pacific and Steamships Trading Co). Oil Search Foundation donated time to design the program and is providing all program management at their own cost. The Australian government through the Pacific Women program has provided significant funding over five years.
Although the focus on the private sector is significant (and innovative) Bel isi PNG has an equally strong public sector component. They are determined that ‘nobody is left behind’. As such the initiative will work with the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) to improve all services including other existing case management centres and safe houses. The Bel isi PNG Case Management Centre will also assist the general public.
To learn more about Bel isi PNG go to www.belisipng.org.pg