The RGE Group of corporations headed by Indonesian-born entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto does business throughout the world, including in China. Mr. Tanoto and his family additionally support numerous community development efforts, educational scholarships, and social service projects administered through their nonprofit Tanoto Foundation, often acting in partnership with RGE Group companies.
In November 2014, China’s capital city, Beijing, was the site of yet another successful event as an RGE Group-sponsored student painting competition culminated in a stirring award ceremony. Representatives from RGE, as well as from the China Youth Association of Networks, organized and attended the event, which was also held under the sponsorship of a local environmental education center. The theme focused on environmental issues and sustainability, and maintained the goal of increasing public awareness and general good stewardship of environmental resources.
The November ceremony concluded close to half a year of artistic activities. Primary and high school students from regions all over China entered the painting contest, submitting thousands of entries. The public selected a top-ten list of popular winners through an Internet-based poll, while contest officials presented nine students with recognition as grand prize winners. More than one hundred additional students received acknowledgement through first, second, and third prizes.
Some of the art pieces:
The colorful awards event featured about one dozen students unveiling a long painting which they captioned with a reflection on the idea of a beautiful China united through positive action on behalf of the environment. Other student projects on display included one in which students wrote their hopes and dreams for the environment on paper cut out in leaf-like designs. One 10-year-old, Dou Yubo, participated in a special dialogue on protecting the environment alongside the adult organizers of the event.
Recent studies and surveys have shown a mounting awareness of environmental issues among students at all levels throughout China. As the country rapidly takes a front rank among the world’s industrialized and high-technology-based economies, university students have expressed increasing concern about the long-term environmental consequences of rapid industrialization. By reaching children at early ages, Sukanto Tanoto and his RGE Group have contributed to further progress in the area of environmental education.