Securing university scholarships, eight Sakai Kandis kids look forward to a brighter future
Riau, 14 October 2020 – Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, through PT Ivo Mas Tunggal as its subsidiary, has recently granted scholarships under the Programme Sumbangan Pembinaan Pendidikan (SPP) 2020 to eight Suku Sakai Kandis kids. The scholarships were handed over through the foundation Yayasan Sakai Mandiri Kandis at its main office in Nenggala Estate, Kampung Sam-Sam, Kandis Subdistrict, Siak Regency, Riau. This educational support fund is aimed to help Sakai Kandis kids continue their study at undergraduate education level in private or state-owned universities in Riau Province.
“We have launched educational support programmes for Suku Sakai children since 2017. We do appreciate their great motivation for taking their study to the next level, i.e. university, despite limitations in terms of facilities and infrastructure available to them. With equal opportunity to that of most non-native people, we hope these kids of Suku Sakai Kandis as the indigenous people of Riau are capable of making their dreams come true,” said the CEO of Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food Plantation for Riau Franciscus Costan.
Suku Sakai is one of Riau’s indigenous ethnic groups believed to have had a nomadic lifestyle in the past, moving from one place to another. Their way of life is known to be closely associated with and dependent on the forests and rivers. Suku Sakai mostly lives in Kandis, Balai Pungut, Kota Kapur, Minas, Duri, Sungai Siak and Sungai Apit. Through its various CSR programmes, the Company has paid special attention to community empowerment initiatives which promote improvement of livelihood for Sakai communities. Besides the SPP programme aimed at Sakai Kandis kids in private schools, from primary to senior high school and on to undergraduate level, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food has provided educational support by fulfilling school-related needs such as procuring school uniforms, bags, books, stationery and shoes.
“We extend our thankfulness to Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food for entrusting Yayasan Sakai Mandiri Kandis with this educational assistance, which will be highly beneficial in improving the future of our children and the next generations,” said the Head of Yayasan Sakai Mandiri Kandis Husai, expressing his happiness and gratitude during the handover ceremony.
Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food believes that education is essential for younger generation, especially those who live in rural areas. This is because education enables them to achieve their dreams and have better life in the future. In 2019, the Company provided this support to more than 280 schools ranging from kindergarten to senior high schools. These schools employed over 2,160 teachers, ensuring that more than 40,800 students can receive their education. In addition, the Company’s support includes providing free school shuttle, establishing 36 Rumah Pintars (Learning Centres) for local community training and donating books as well as other learning materials to more than 14,300 beneficiaries. By 2019, the Company had set up USD 2,4 millions on scholarship programme funding.