As the owner of one of Indonesia’s palm oil giants, Eka Tjipta Widjaja realized that having many potential human resources is important. Therefore, through his foundation Eka Tjipta Foundation (ETF), the owner of Sinar Mas Group initiated scholarship programs aimed for students who want to study more about oil palm plantation and oleo chemical engineering. On July 29th 2010, six scholarships were handed to East Nusa Tenggara students in Kupang.
SMART Engineer Scholarship for East Indonesia Students
Dubbed SMART Engineer Scholarship, the scholarships gave opportunities for the first six recipients to continue their study at INSTIPER (Agriculture Institute) in Yogyakarta, to study more about oil palm agriculture and its oleo chemical aspects. INSTIPER was chosen because it has been recognized as one of the best agriculture schools in Indonesia, and so far, there have been 300 students who received scholarships to study there from Sinar Mas.
The focus of scholarship program will be for East Indonesian students, who often do not get as many opportunities as other students in West Indonesia especially Java Island in term of getting good education. Besides a part of corporate social responsibility program, this scholarship program will also ensure Sinar Mas to always have great and potential human resources to work at the factory, office and plantation sites.
With this program, not only Eka Tjipta Foundation contributes to the education of many students in East Indonesia, but it also provides new job opportunities, since unemployment is one of the biggest problems of Indonesia as a developing country. The reason why East Nusa Tenggara was chosen as the first choice was because this province did not have as many natural resources as other provinces, but they have human potential that need to be given opportunities.
Eka Tjipta Foundation Commitment for Education and Economy
ETF is among the few CSR foundations that actually focus some of their main programs in locations where the companies do not actually have operational areas. Although Sinar Mas does not have any plantation or facility in East Nusa Tenggara, the program was aimed to this province as a way to provide opportunities for underprivileged youths to get better education and improve family economy.
This program was in line with the ETF philosophy: “menanam kebaikan, menuai kesejahteraan” (planting kindness, reaping prosperity). By focusing on underprivileged youths in East Indonesia, the ETF and Sinar Mas have proven their commitment to provide equal opportunities for education and economy among Indonesians.