People for Forests partners with the Orang Utan Republik Foundation to support a university scholarship program that was established in 2006. This is a competitive program to provide three and four-year scholarships to deserving college students in their university’s departments of Biology and Forestry in North Sumatra, West, Central and East Borneo and four and five-year scholarships/internships for Biology, Forestry and Veterinary Science programs at Acehnese universities. We partner with local Non Government Organisations in Indonesia who can provide the local administrative, logistical, and management of the program and provide hands-on field experience for the students.
Over 100 students have graduated over the course of this program. Many of these students have become employed in the conservation and sustainability field while others have continued with post-graduate degree programs. Some students have become teachers, veterinarians or gained government employment in areas such as the Forestry Department. At least half of the graduates have been female which helps to increase the ability of women to gain employment and support their families.
Higher education and awareness about environmental and sustainability issues affecting their communities empowers these graduates to make positive change and be strong advocates for the conservation of forests.