Tanoto Foundation and Asian Agri Unite to Boost Education  

Thanks to a partnership between the nonprofit Tanoto Foundation and the Asian Agri constituent company PT. Inti Indosawit Subur Kebun Tungkal Ulu, children in a rural area of Indonesia now enjoy greater educational opportunities. The partnership has enhanced the quality of schools in the region of Merlung and Renah Mendaluh, located near PT Inti Indosawit plantation lands, through the innovative Pelita Pendidikan teacher training curriculum.

Recent statistics have indicated that perhaps only one-fifth of all Indonesian schoolteachers possess the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of their students. The rapidly developing nation is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers across the board, but particularly in rural areas of Jambi, Riau, and North Sumatra provinces, where the Tanoto Foundation has been particularly active in funding a variety of educational programs.

Through the Pelita Pendidikan program, as well as its work in supplying scholarship funding to deserving students in need, the foundation supports the vision of founder Sukanto Tanoto. Mr. Tanoto, a self-made and partly self-educated entrepreneur who is currently one of the wealthiest individuals in Indonesia, has channeled significant amounts of money into his philanthropic foundation, often in partnership with one of the companies that make up his $15 billion RGE Group. These corporate collaborations have been able to respond nimbly and creatively to the many challenges facing Indonesia’s education infrastructure.

Mr. Tanoto and other foundation officers work with the goal of bringing Indonesia’s rural schools up to the same level as those in the country’s urban areas. In addition to its teacher training sessions, the broad reach of the Pelita Pendidikan program has provided for the construction of new classrooms and libraries, and for the creation of facilities to deliver clean water to schools. For the past few years, the partnership has allowed at least one-fifth of the PT Inti Indosawit corporate social responsibility budget to be devoted to education funding in the surrounding region. It is Mr. Tanoto’s strong belief that education is one of the surest ways to help lift a country’s people out of poverty and enable them to become self-sufficient. Through this and other Tanoto Foundation corporate alliances, he focuses on his core business and personal mission of creating positive outcomes that benefit the company, the country, and the wider global community.