Environmental education and study scholarships
Tomohon is a collection of mountain villages in the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi where 70% of the households is farmer. Many of these families cannot afford the costs of education for their children. Masarang supports children from poor families who live closest to the damaged natural environment with scholar ships.
The Masarang scholarship goes beyond giving a financial contribution, there is an educational program offered in which they learn more about nature and the importance of the environment. Also free English lessons are given and all students receive a membership card of the library of Masarang. Through this educational opportunities, they can work towards a better future for themselves and their environment.
The scholar ship is paid in two installments, usually in July and December, directly to the school. Each student will receive a scholarship for one year, in the last year of the four-year study. In this way we help many different families and we know that we only help students who are seriously engaged in their studies. Entry is via a registration form and a letter of recommendation from the school. The hand out of the scholarships always comes with a ceremony where new trees are planted and the students and their families get a presentation of a Masarang employee (usually Willie Smits) on the importance of sustainable agriculture, protection of nature and their role in it.
Mostly scholarships for high school are given. If funding permits, Masarang also offers scholarships to university students (bachelor and master level) and sometimes contributes to promotions. Supported students select a ‘green’ theme for their study and should have a good reputation and school results.
Masarang provides a number of scholarships with the aims of:
- Giving children the opportunity to study – without this help children often are required to work
- Educating the local population, so they can work for a better future
- Spreading knowledge and awareness of nature conservation and sustainable living
- Enlarge awareness of Masarang and her projects
Since 2001 hundreds of children have been able to finish their school, giving them a better chance of a bright future. Dozens of students have been able to follow a course at the university, with which they could develop their passions and talents. They can become role models within their community.
A number of PhD projects on the environment and nature have been supported, which gave the students invaluable knowledge and experience which will contribute to the creation of a more sustainable community.