The Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) is a collaborative program of the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) and four Indonesian implementing organizations: the Yayasan Orangutan Sumatra Lestari-Orangutan Information Center or OIC on Sumatra, Yayasan Palung (YP) in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) in Central Kalimantan, and the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP) in East Kalimantan.
The purpose of the program is to award tuition funding to talented and needy Indonesian students on a competitive basis, enabling them to attend university in the fields of forestry, biology, and veterinary science. In addition to being able to attend university, scholarship recipients develop an understanding of the plight of the orangutan from the perspective of the nongovernmental organization. They graduate as advocates of orangutan conservation when entering the private, nonprofit, or government workforce. The collaboration between OURF, OIC, YP, BNF, and COP has enabled this program to expand since it awarded its first scholarship in 2006. OURF raises and provides the funding and OIC, YP, BNF, and COP administer the actual competition through outreach to schools. They also evaluate submitted proposals, oversee the selection process, and manage the disbursement of funds to the recipients.
The OCS is open to Indonesian students in North Sumatra, Aceh, and West, Central, and East Kalimantan seeking tuition funds for forestry, biology, and veterinary school. Applicants are required to make an effective presentation to a review committee about their research plans. They are also required to provide periodic updates to OURF. In addition, recipients are expected to work with local NGOs to learn about the orangutan and its plight, and to help present the information to students in local schools.
216 students have received the OCS since 2006. 129 students have already graduated and obtained jobs or careers in the non-profit and for-profit sector or have continued their education.
The fields of study (biology, forestry, and veterinary science) have been fairly balanced. The number of scholarships has been largely offered based on funds pledged by organizations. Most have been awarded to students attending the University of North Sumatra and the University of Medan where the program began. Students in Aceh at Kuala Syiah University’s veterinary school were included in 2009. We began offering scholarships to graduating high school students in West Kalimantan planning to attend the University of Tanjung Pura in 2012. We started providing scholarships to students in Central Kalimantan planning to attend the University of Palangka Raya in 2018. Finally, in 2021, we began offering scholarships for students in East Kalimantan attending Mulwarman University in Samarinda. Our scholarship program now encompasses all the range provinces of Indonesia where wild orangutans still live.
We would like to continue to expand this worthwhile program. To do this, we encourage the general public to support the Sponsor-a-Student Scholarship program and the OCS Fund. OURF is appreciative of the organizations that already support the OCS Fund. Donations in the USA are fully tax-deductible.
The cost of administering one four-year scholarship is approximately US$1,500. That single scholarship enables a recipient to pay for school tuition over those years, and also covers the costs of their research and the final write-up.
A special five-year scholarship may be available for veterinary students who need to participate in an additional year of internship to graduate as practicing veterinarians. The number of scholarships we can award is based on the level of funding we receive.
Individuals and organizations who would like to donate to the Orangutan Caring Scholarship Fund to sponsor one or more scholarships can contact OURF at firstname.lastname@example.org or donate through the OURF website.
To download a brochure about the Orangutan Caring Scholarship, select your language:
If you're an Indonesian student in North Sumatra or Aceh and you'd like more information about applying for the OCS, contact OIC at email@example.com.
Students in West Kalimantan should contact YP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students in Central Kalimantan should contact BNF at email@example.com.
Students in East Kalimantan should contact COP at firstname.lastname@example.org