Ilham Pratama is an outstanding recipient of the West Borneo Orangutan Caring Scholarship. He is completing his Forestry degree at the University of Tanjungpura in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.
Besides managing his university classes online during the pandemic, Ilham has been busy with numerous extracurricular activities including serving as a facilitator for training spatial mapping skills to community members of four villages in the North Kayong Regency. This was done in August 2020 in conjunction with workshops provided by Yayasan Palung to support the regency government.
Ilham serving as Spatial Mapping facilitator.
He also participated in a comparative study of freshwater fish farming in the village of Pampang Harapan as part of Yayasan Palung’s livelihood assistance program that helps local people create sustainable businesses rather than destructive farming practices.
Local villagers learning about fish farming as an alternative livelihood.
In November and December 2020, Ilham participated in a Peat Restoration and Conservation project as a specialist in charge of taking soil samples and analyzing the depth, color, and maturity level of the peat in five districts in West Kalimantan.
Measuring peat depth in the field.
Ilham additionally became a moderator in the "Mimbar Rimbawan" event which was held in late December at Kedai Kayu, Pontianak. This activity was attended by many students and the general public. As well as discussing the importance of protecting the forest, the event helped to encourage youth to care for the local environment.
Some attendees at the "Mimbar Rimbawan" event.
Ilham was interviewed by OURF volunteers and he provided these answers:
How have you overcome the challenges of studying during Covid-19?
Ilham: Seeking out the best location for learning that is appropriate and comfortable - and not too noisy. That way the learning process is more effective.
What is your favorite part about university life?
Ilham: Participating in non-formal activities both inside and outside the campus. These activities include organizations / communities, volunteers, discussion groups etc. So, it can support the whole learning process, experience, and open relationships.
What are your future plans after you graduate?
Ilham: I want to serve the community. In particular, provide advocacy assistance, support environmental issues, as well as research and uncovering information about conflicts that exist in various areas.
What advice would you give someone wanting to study a conservation subject?
Ilham: Join the community or become a volunteer. So that the learning process is immediately found based on experience in the field and by learning from many people.
You can continue to support Ilham and the other students who have received Orangutan Caring Scholarships through OURF's Sponsor-a-Student program or by making a donation through our Orangutan Caring Scholarship Appeal.