Imelda and Belinda Tanoto (center,) members of Tanoto Foundation Board of Trustees with scholarship recipients

One child at a time, supporting Indonesia’s young generation to have a better future


MAY 25, 2015

Imelda and Belinda Tanoto (center,) members of Tanoto Foundation Board of Trustees with scholarship recipients

“Education is needed to improve one’s life. When you are educated, the chance to have a better life in the future increases tremendously.” This was stated by Belinda Tanoto, member of Tanoto Foundation Board of Trustees.

She further added , “ Unfortunately, not everybody has the same opportunity to receive education. We are proud that, through Tanoto Foundation, we have been providing scholarships for more than 5,200 students from all education levels in Indonesia. These scholarships help to level the playing field as more students, regardless of their financial background, have the opportunity to be educated.”

This was conveyed during a Scholars Gathering for recipients of Beasiswa Sayap Garuda and Beasiswa Sekolah Menengah at Uniplaza Building, Medan, recently. More than 150 scholarship recipients, or Tanoto Scholars, from elementary, junior, and senior high schools from North Sumatra took part.

Learning to overcome challenges and developing leadership potential.

With the theme “Learn and Lead,” the Gathering was held as an event for Tanoto Foundation to get to know the Scholars better and to train the Scholars in key soft skills. They learned different values such as leadership, perseverance, and continuous learning through team activities and interactive games. Also present were representatives of Tanoto Foundation and Royal Golden Eagle Group.

Beasiswa Sayap Garuda is a competitive merit-based scholarship offered to Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group employees children. The program is implemented in North Sumatra, Riau, and Jambi. Meanwhile, Beasiswa Sekolah Menengah is a need-based scholarship for students in nine schools in Medan.

Imelda Tanoto, also a member of Tanoto Foundation Board of Trustees, said that the overarching factor that has been in existence since the beginning of RGE Group until now is the commitment to work hard and do life-long learning. She explained to the Scholars that, although her father, Sukanto Tanoto had a very humble beginning and had to leave school at a young age, he did not let these challenges deter him. He continued to study from all possible sources and worked really hard in his endeavors. Now, he is leading a Business Group that has operations in five different continents.

Imelda reminded the Scholars that, their parents, or the employees of RGE Group, are the ones who also have been working hard along with her father and the rest of the teams to ensure that the Group continues as a world class organization. Imelda hoped that her father’s experience could inspire the Scholars to keep trying to achieve their highest goals and even be better than their parents.

During the activities, Belinda Tanoto also mentioned that , “Particularly for Beasiswa Sayap Garuda, it has been provided through Tanoto Foundation not only to provide more opportunities for more children to receive education, but also for these children to have better lives than their parents.”

During this Gathering, Deara Dwi Anjely, 4th Grade student of SD Binadharma Sentral, Asahan, showed her appreciation through a poem, titled “Moved to Tears.” Daughter of a book keeper from oil palm plantation in Asahan, she expressed her happiness when she was informed that she passed the requirements to be a Scholar. The scholarship allows her to buy the necessities such as uniform and books. Meanwhile, Danu Syah Lubis who just graduated from Universitas Sumatera Utara mentioned that he was very proud to be a Tanoto Scholar. Not only his tuition fee was fully covered, he also got the opportunity to actually pay forward the generosity of Tanoto Foundation by taking active role in social activities initiated by the Scholars.

Tanoto Foundation programs focus on poverty alleviation through three main program areas, namely education, empowerment, and enhancement of quality of life. In education sector, Tanoto Foundation works to support the improvement of access to and quality of education.   Tanoto Foundation collaborates with more than 320 schools in North Sumatra, Riau, and Jambi to improve their quality of education. The activities with these schools include improvement of teachers’ capacity in teaching and learning process and support for schools’ facilities and infrastructure.

To support access to education through provision of scholarships, Tanoto Foundation works with 28 higher education institutions in Indonesia. To date, Tanoto Foundation has provided more than 5,200 scholarships to students from all education levels.

For community empowerment, Tanoto Foundation works with its corporate partner, PT. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper. One of the activities includes training of 3,400 farmers in Integrated Farming System. The Foundation also works with another corporate partner, Asian Agri, to support 29,000 plasma farmers who manage around 60,000 hectares of palm plantation to improve their income level.

To support enhancement of quality of life, Tanoto Foundation and its corporate partners are involved in activities such as provision of clean water and sanitation facilities and various health initiatives that reach more than 36,700 beneficiaries.