Established in 2006, the Orangutan Caring Scholarship awards talented and disadvantaged Indonesian students with tuition funding, to complete postgraduate programs in Forestry and Biology. Through the program, recipients develop an understanding of the plight of the orangutan, and graduate as an advocate of orangutan conservation. The main goal of the Orangutan Caring Scholarships is to enhance the long-term survival of the Sumatran orangutan through developing university graduates that are knowledgeable and sympathetic to the plight of the species and who will act in positions of responsibility and authority once they enter the workforce.
Recipients of the Caring Scholarships sign a contract that binds them to the conditions specified in the application, including working on orangutan related education programmes for school children. Funding for tuition is provided each year for the four year university programme as well as the write up of the thesis.
Benefits from the scholarships include providing an avenue for higher education to motivated but needy young people in a competitive manner. These college graduates will move into various positions in the workforce where they can serve as advocates for the orangutan. The publicity received in the local press about this programme provides positive media attention about the need for orangutan conservation. By supporting the education of tertiary students in the field of conservation, it increases the perception that orangutans are important.
Project Leader: Gary Shapiro