First Bornean Orangutan Caring Scholarships Awarded
18 May 2012, Ketapang, West Kalimantan. Ketapang is a quiet coastal city in West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. During the evening of 18 May, two high school seniors were honored by OURF and Yayasan Palung as the first recipients of the Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) in Borneo at a dinner ceremony in a local Ketapang restaurant. OURF President Dr. Gary Shapiro hosted the awards dinner along with Mariamah Achmad and staff from Yayasan Palung.
The scholarships are patterned after the very successful OCS in Sumatra where OURF has been partnering with the Orangutan Information Center (OIC) for the past 7 years. During that time, 45 scholarships have been given out to N. Sumatran and Acehnese college students in the programs of biology, forestry and veterinary science. Upon the request and initial funding from Richard Zimmerman of Orangutan Outreach, OURF initiated the scholarship program in West Kalimantan. Cheryl Knott, founder of Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program and Yayasan Palung, agreed to partner with OURF to begin the program. Yayasan Palung coordinated with OIC to facilitate some of the operational and logistical issues of administering a competitive scholarship program. Yayasan Palung also developed their own set of procedures.
Yayasan Palung chose to open the scholarship to graduating high school students in two regencies of West Kalimantan. After soliciting proposals they created a jury selection panel and evaluated the top eight finalists in the areas of essay, report, and presentation. The top two scoring finalists were given the honor of the first recipients of the Borneo Orangutan Caring Scholarship 2012. The winners were Rinta Islami and Ayu Agustin.
Both recipients are contingent winners based on the assumption they will graduate from high school. If one or both fail to graduate, the next high scoring candidates will receive the scholarship. Assuming these students are as proficient in their general high school studies as they are with the contest, the likelihood is high they will be receiving the four year scholarship for the next academic year as they enter the University of Tanjung Pura. OURF, Yayasan Palung, and Orangutan Outreach wish the recipients all the best as they continue their academic journey with collective support in the name of the orangutan.
for more information about Yayasan Palung, visit http://yayasanpalung.blogspot.com/
for more information about Orangutan Outreach, visit http://redapes.org/