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Oil Search Foundation enters partnership with Buk Bilong Pikinini to improve literacy levels in Hela and Gulf

The Oil Search Foundation has entered into a formal partnership with Buk Bilong Pikinini to deliver Early Childhood Development and Literacy programmes in Hela and Gulf Provinces. 
The partnership represents part of the expansion of the Foundation’s focus from Health programmes into the new programmes of Leadership and Education and Women’s Protection and Empowerment. 
The Foundation’s CEO Kymberley Kepore said “when we considered where to focus our new education programme, we started by asking communities to tell us their priorities and consistently, improving literacy was at the top of the list. This is not surprising because literacy is a cornerstone tool that forms the basis of well-being and prosperity. It represents Oil Search’s focus on helping PNG to develop the next generation of leaders, which must start in early childhood”. 
Buk Bilong Pikinini has established 17 libraries across various locations in Papua New Guinea since its establishment in 2007. The libraries are equipped with learning resources and teacher-librarians who deliver the literacy programmes to children aged three to five. 
The Foundation together with Buk Bilong Pikinini will establish two libraries at selected sites in Tari (Hela) and Kikori (Gulf). More than 3000 books, education materials and other learning equipment will be provided to these libraries as well as trained teacher-librarians from the communities. Book donations will also be made to other schools in Hela Province. 
The initiative will form part of Buk Bilong Pikinini’s existing programme known as the Buk Bilong Komuniti, which aims to enable vulnerable children in these rural areas with low literacy, to access literacy learning opportunities and acquire literacy skills. 
Anne-Sophie Hermann, Founder and Chair for Buk Bilong Pikinini said that the programme was an incredible opportunity for Buk Bilong Pikinini to expand its support to hard to reach rural communities where literacy rates are very low. She sincerely thanked the Oil Search Foundation for their support and emphasised that the programme will also explore opportunities to expand literacy programmes to parents especially mothers recognising the absolute importance of women’s literacy in fostering healthy children, families and communities.

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