RAPP Scholarships Empower Students for a Responsible Environment
Forests are a vital natural resource. That’s what inspired Muhammad Efendi, Mifta Rifa’i, and Raynaldo from Riau, Indonesia, to act. Their love of nature led them to study at INSTIPER (Institut Pertanian Stiper) Yogyakarta, thanks to scholarships from RAPP.
Muhammad Efendi (24) came from Pulau Padang, Kepulauan Meranti, Riau. His father lost his job at an oil and gas company in Pulau Padang and had to work in a garage, so Muhammad’s determination to help his family led him to apply for the INSTIPER scholarship from RAPP.
As the only person in the area to receive the full scholarship there were plenty who doubted his chances of success, but he enjoyed the full support of his parents and family.
“I am very grateful for what I have achieved. Everything started from my own belief and solid support from my family. Now I could help my family to fund my brothers’ college tuition fee,” said Efendi.
Efendi graduated from INSTIPER in 2015 and currently works at RAPP as a researcher in the Research and Development Department for Plantation Management Improvement. His main responsibility is to conduct research in peat land management to make sure APRIL’s plantation is run responsibly.
Unlike Efendi, Mifta Rifa’i (23) from Gunung Sari village, Riau had not really intended to apply for the RAPP Scholarship until a lack of funds changed his mind. His scholarship enabled him to study forestry, and he now works for RAPP in the Water Management Department where he monitors water levels in order to comply with government regulations.
Another story comes from Raynaldo (23), the son of a restaurant owner in Pangkalan Kerinci. He first knew heard of the scholarship announcement when it was being discussed in the restaurant. Although he had doubt over whether he would be selected, he decided to apply and was accepted.
During their studies all scholars must maintain their GPA. In the first semester, Raynaldo successfully got 3.40 GPA, but after this slipped in the second semester he received coaching from RAPP staff to help him improve his grades.
Raynaldo is now working as an assistant in Pelalawan Central Nursery, where RAPP grows the seedlings for its plantations.
Every year, RAPP offers many scholarships in two prominent universities in Indonesia, ATPK (Akademi Teknologi Pulp dan Kertas) in Bandung, West Java and INSTIPER (Institut Pertanian Stiper) Yogyakarta. The scholarship covers tuition fees and monthly living expenses. With this scholarship, RAPP hopes to empower local communities and help benefit the environment.