The Forest Scribe

Sakai Kandis Forest Tribe Adapts to Modern Time Through Education

The Sakai Kandis tribe which used to be a nomadic forest tribe that is indigenous to the Province of Riau, is now gaining a footstep into the modern world as eight of its members will further their study at universities.

The eight tribe youths are to study at universities and other higher education institutions in Riau after having received scholarships from the Sakai Mandiri Kandis Foundation on October 14, 2020. Foundation Chairman, Husaijuga who is himself a Sakai Kandis, hailed the scholarship as “very beneficial for the good of our children, our grandchildren, the young generation of the Sakai Kandis tribe.”

The Sakai Kandis, one of a number of Sakai groups which are indigenous to Riau province, used to be a nomadic tribe that was heavily dependent on forests for their livelihood. With the economic development in the area rapidly shrinking forests in Riau, the government has been gradually settling these nomadic forest tribes in order for them to also benefit from the development.

Other Sakai tribe groups could also be found in the Balai Pungut, Kota Kapur, Minas, Duri, Sungai Siak, and Sungai Apit areas of Riau.

The Sakai Mandiri Kandis Foundation among others, is channeling education assistance that is part of the CSR program of PT Ivo Mas Tunggal, a subsidiary of Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food that is operating an industrial timber estate, the Nenggala Estate in the Kandis sub-district of Riau’s Siak district.

“We really appreciate their high spirit to study to the higher education level. By having access to the same opportunities as the majority of the migrant population, we hope that the children of the Sakai Kandis tribe, the indigenous people of Riau, can also attain their dreams,” said Franciscus Costan, CEO for Plantations of Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food Riau Region.,

Costan said that the company has been providing education assistance for the Sakai Kandis tribe since 2017, and by 2019, more than $2.4 million has been disbursed in scholarships for various levels of education for rural children in the region.

In a company release, Costan said that the company accorded special attention to the development and empowerment of the Sakai tribes, including through a number of CSR programs. Besides the scholarship, the company has also provided assistance in the form of various school children needs such as uniforms, shoes, school bags, notebooks and stationeries.

The company believes that education was crucial for the young generation in rural areas to enable them to reach their dreams and improve their life in the future. It has provided assistance to more than 280 schools from kindergarten to senior high schools in Riau that provides education for more than 40,800 students. The company also provides free school bus transportations, build facilities for training

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