Alam Aksara

Providing Educational Opportunities for Indonesian Students

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The main function of Alam Aksara is to pair up individual Indonesian students in need with sponsors in any country who are willing to support the students’ education. Sponsoring a student can cost as little as US$9.50 a month, and 100 percent of a sponsor’s contribution goes to the student (see Costs).

What is a sponsor required to do?
Beyond providing scholarship funds, nothing.

What do sponsors receive in return, beyond the satisfaction of helping a deserving student to get an education?
Sponsors are sent quarterly reports providing a breakdown of how the contribution is spent (tuition, transportation, books, uniforms, etc.), but in order to keep costs to a minimum, no other services (translation of correspondence between students and sponsors, for instance) are provided. This may sound a bit cold and businesslike, but we prefer to direct funds to the students in need rather than using them for anything else.

Is a sponsorship an open-ended commitment?
No. A sponsor can withdraw at any time, although we do appreciate advance warning when this is going to happen so as to have time to find another sponsor to take over the scholarship. As a student advances through school, costs do tend to rise. We notify sponsors of their students’ needs for the coming school year (which runs from July to June) as soon as the information reaches us, at which point the sponsor can make a decision as to whether to continue. Some sponsors commit at the outset to supporting a student until graduation from a particular level of schooling. Others prefer to take it a year at a time.

How much of a sponsor’s contribution is used to cover administrative costs?
Zero. One hundred percent of the aid provided by the sponsors goes to the students. We make every effort to hold expenses to an absolute minimum, and the organizers cover administrative costs out of their own pockets or through the occasional contribution made specifically for such costs.

What sort of costs does a sponsor’s contribution cover?
The aid provided by the sponsors goes primarily to pay the following: tuition and other school fees, transportation, books, school supplies, uniforms, and other school-related expenses. For many students, the largest single cost is transportation to and from school.

How is a sponsor’s contribution passed on to the student?
Local coordinators generally pay out the money directly to each student in small installments, at which time the coordinators check up on the student’s progress and wellbeing.  In some cases, tuition is paid directly to the school.

Can sponsors choose which student they wish to support?
Absolutely. When scholarship candidates become available, those who have expressed an interest in sponsoring a student receive an email describing the students, their family situations and the costs involved in sponsoring them. Potential sponsors can then decide whether to proceed and which student they would like to sponsor.

I’m interested in sponsoring a student. What should I do to get started? If you might be interested in sponsoring a student, please let us know through the Contact Us page. We are currently working to increase the number of on-site coordinators so as to be able to identify additional deserving students in need. We will be in touch by email as candidates become available.