The Tanoto Foundation, an initiative of Indonesian-born entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto and his family, strives to assist Indonesia in creating greater educational opportunities for its citizens. With only about 30 percent of college-aged young adults enrolled in higher education programs, Indonesia’s need to develop the skills and talents of its young “Golden Generation” has become a matter of vital national interest.
Through the Tanoto Foundation’s National Champion scholarships, which provide for tuition and other necessities, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can help themselves, their families, and their country by increasing their ability to contribute to a 21st century knowledge-based economy.
In 2013 alone, the Tanoto Foundation distributed more than 200 scholarships to students enrolled in seven universities; each of the students had demonstrated significant academic achievement and leadership potential. The foundation additionally hosts special events for its scholarship recipients, who attend skill-building sessions that emphasize the “soft skills” necessary to become top-level communicators and inspiring leaders. At the 2013 scholarship-awarding event, Indonesia’s Minister of Education and Culture, Muhammad Nuh, joined Tanoto Foundation trustee Imelda Tanoto in recognizing the young scholars’ immense potential.
Nuh has referred to Indonesia’s young people as the country’s “Golden Generation.” He and other national officials have used the term to define the increasing number of Indonesians under the age of 19, in relation to the much smaller numbers of older people living in the country. If Indonesia takes care to educate and train this new generation adequately, their success will translate into rising standards of living for the entire country, which will then be better able to assist older adults as they age out of the workforce and into more dependent roles. The Tanoto Foundation’s scholarship program is one example of the type of public-private sector cooperation that will assist Indonesia with meeting its nationwide educational goals going forward.