16 January 2016- The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) has steadily been building partnerships over the past decade in pursuit of its mission. While the core programs of OURF has focused on formal and informal education in Indonesia, it has also moved into other areas that address the roots of orangutan and wildlife conservation.  OURF plans to continue to expand its portfolio of programs and projects in 2016 as new partnerships are deepened and strengthened.  Such expansion provides opportunities for further involvement by the public and committed individuals seeking hands-on opportunities.

Here is a sample of what is being planned:

Crossing the 100 scholarship milestone!  OURF will continue its Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) program in Sumatran and Kalimantan. With its implementing partners, OIC in Sumatra and Yayasan Palung in West Kalimantan, OURF will award 18 new scholarships to needy and deserving students in or entering university in the fields of biology, forestry or veterinary science.  As the OCS program has already granted 94 multi-year scholarships since 2006, 2016 will be a milestone year as over 100 students will have received their academic support. OURF is proud of being able to maintain this program with financial support from The Orangutan Project (Australia), The Andrew Sabin Family Foundation (USA), Orangutan Outreach (USA), and numerous individuals and organizations.  To insure the long-term viability of this program, OURF has established a Fund specifically to accept donations to service the current scholarship recipients and plan for future awards. Opportunity for further involvement: OURF invites individuals, companies, and other non-profit organizations to support this worthy program.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Permaculture volunteers wanted.  OURF’s funded Mobile Education and Conservation Unit (MECU) program moves into its 6th year of partnering with villagers in Sumatra’s  Bukit Lawang region to reduce conflict between wildlife and farmers. Developing and broadening training and education in organic agriculture, polyculture, agro-forestry, and permaculture methods will increase. Already two villages have operational Demonstration Plots (Demplots) with other farmers using the lessons learned from the training to improve their own agricultural practices and to incorporate humane means of controlling invasive wildlife. Crops being harvested from the Demplots are being sold to ecolodges. Opportunity for further involvement: OURF would like to increase this dimension of the MECU program with the addition of more volunteers with technical skills in permaculture design and management.  Such volunteers can be either in the field or in a support role anywhere on the planet. OURF also seeks funding partners to help create another project, an “Education Center for Sustainable Living” which would have both large, elegant bamboo buildings for training and permaculture demonstration areas around the buildings. Interested people should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Supporting Orangutan Care and Reintroduction within a new partnership. OURF has always distinguished itself by focusing on education and not being directly involved in active orangutan rescues, care, and reintroduction. There are many organizations doing this type of work and doing it very well. It is one of the reasons OURF has not created its own orangutan adoption or orangutan foster programs as its funding is directed to education programs.  However, OURF is providing a new avenue for supporting orangutan care and reintroduction in 2016. The Orangutan Project (TOP), OURF’s largest donor and major funder of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), entered into a new relationship with OURF. OURF has become TOP’s  US-based chapter with TOP President Leif Cocks joining the board of directors of OURF. In a reciprocating fashion, OURF President Gary Shapiro will be joining the board of TOP later in 2016. With this new relationship, OURF will be able to accept funds from US-donors directed by TOP specifically for SOCP.  Opportunity for further involvement: If live in the US and have been supporting TOP and SOCP, you can now donate to OURF and deduct your contribution as OURF is a 501(c)(3).  If you have any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Increasing Participation Domestically. OURF depends on the involvement of motivated volunteers to raise the funds, create the education content, share the news, and participate in outreach. In 2015 OURF had numerous people helping create website content, write grants, support social media, and participate in outreach events. Volunteerism is a rewarding way to find meaning, but without direction, commitment and oversight, many volunteers do not accomplish the intended objectives. OURF seeks to increase involvement of people of all ages in 2016 but requires a dialog with prospective volunteers to determine if the fit is right. Opportunity for further involvement:  OURF has been endeavoring to create regions of activity across the country to help with local outreach (e.g., Orangutan Caring Week)  and fundraising.  OURF’s  Northern California group is active and seeking others in the Bay Area who would like to volunteer with our leadership in the region. If interested, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you would like to start a group elsewhere in the country, also contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and someone will contact you about opportunities.