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Nurturing the leaders of tomorrow

Article - April 4, 2012
In its academies, colleges and beyond, the Putera Sampoerna Foundation is dedicated to providing the knowledgeable, entrepreneurial, and compassionate leaders the country needs

Competition for places at academies run by the Putera Sampoerna Foundation is fierce, and the selection process rigorous. To qualify, students have to be in the top 5% academically in junior high and show leadership potential. But those selected are on course for a bright future.

“I will personally guarantee that they will get a tertiary education once they are in our high schools,” says Putera Sampoerna, who established the social enterprise institution that bears his name.

Education is at the heart of Putera Sampoerna Foundation’s Pathway to Leadership strategy, which also encompasses entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, and compassionate relief programs. Its founder believes that if Indonesia is to thrive tomorrow, it must pay attention to nurturing its future leaders today.

“We want all our students to be smart leaders and entrepreneurs, and they must have values.”

“We provide an education ecosystem servicing so many things that work towards creating future leaders.”

Putera Sampoerna, founder of the Putera Sampoerna Foundation

The Sampoerna Academy selects the brightest students from disadvantaged backgrounds and puts them through a secondary school curriculum of international standard to prepare them for a university education. In addition to their academic studies, the students take part in professional and other experience-based programs based on the Academy’s core values and learning expectations.

“We want all our students to be smart leaders and entrepreneurs, and they must have values,” says Putera Sampoerna.

Since it was established in 2001, the Putera Sampoerna Foundation has distributed more than 34,600 scholarships, provided training for more than 22,038 teachers and principals, and adopted 23 public schools and five Islamic schools. The first two boarding schools opened in Malang, East Java, and in Palembang, South Sumatra, in 2009. Last year saw the launch of two more, one in Bali and another in the city of Bogor, in Greater Jakarta. This year, 232 students will graduate from the academies, with 500 expected to graduate in 2013.

All courses are delivered in English to enable students to qualify for any English-speaking university which implements 21st Century Learning, while the curricula meet both national and international requirements, leading to the International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE), accredited by University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Cambridge International A / AS level, and the National Examination (Ujian Nasional), accredited by the National Education Department of Indonesia.

First steps towards establishing a world-class university have been taken by establishing two colleges: Sampoerna School of Education (SSE), and the Sampoerna School of Business (SSB). There are collaborative programs with Cornell and MIT, and the Foundation is seeking partnerships with other universities overseas.

The Foundation’s Access Education Beyond program is an international higher education exchange initiative enabling Indonesian students to enroll at universities overseas and vice versa. It also fosters university-to-university partnerships between nations.
In broader terms, Putera Sampoerna sees the Foundation as a catalyst for change, and its educational and leadership-building activities extend beyond the classrooms of its academies.

The Foundation acts as a provider of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs for corporations, organizations and associations, and its MEKAR Entrepreneur Network aims to strengthen the Indonesian entrepreneurial community by fostering relationships among entrepreneurs and investors.

Sahabat Wanita, or Friends of Women, has been launched to promote the empowerment of women and gender equality, while Bait Al-Kamil is a humanitarian institute that aims to improve the welfare of fellow citizens and provide relief to underprivileged families in communities afflicted by natural disasters.

“We provide an education ecosystem servicing so many things that work towards creating future leaders,” says Nenny Soemawinata, the Foundation’s managing director.

She stresses that the Foundation is actively seeking sponsors, patrons and partners to help it in its work. “Whatever we do, we always have to think about the sustainability of the program. We need help in any shape or form, whether a partnership or student assistance. The more assistance, the more people we can help in Indonesia.”

For further information, or if you wish to contribute to the Putera Sampoerna Foundation programs for the betterment of Indonesia, please visit: