Editor's Note: This article was first published on April Dialog. Dr Tony Whitten is Regional Director, Asia Pacific, Fauna & Flora International (FFI). FFI is RER’s technical partner, managing key elements of the...
Mr Sukanto Tanoto, entrepreneur and founder of RGE, established the Tanoto Scholarship Fund through an endowed gift by the Tanoto Foundation to help needy undergraduate medical students with their tuition fees to pursue their education in the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
Making a difference
In the words of Mr Sukanto Tanoto and his wife, Mrs Tinah Bingei Tanoto: “All people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential… Making a difference in people’s lives is, perhaps, the most satisfying thing one can do.” Both Mr and Mrs Tanoto had to leave high school before graduation in order to support their families and their businesses. They founded the Tanoto Foundation together in 2001, to reduce hardship and break the cycle of inter-generational poverty through education, empowerment and enhancement programs. In the field of education, the Tanoto Foundation provides scholarships to students and helps them to fulfill their dreams of receiving a high-quality education.
Tanoto Scholarship Fund
The Tanoto Scholarship Fund will support NUS undergraduate medical students in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine throughout their study. One of the scholars, Faith Leong, is able to study medicine without any financial worries. She can now fully concentrate on her studies and pursue her lifelong calling to be a doctor. “I am immensely grateful for all the financial aid that I have received thus far and will definitely be willing to give back to others who require similar aid in the future,” she says. Faith believes that medicine is not just a job, but a calling. During an attachment in pre-university, she was inspired by the level of care and effort that a cancer doctor made for his patients. During a power outage, he climbed 10 flights of stairs to personally retrieve heat-sensitive chemotherapy drugs and store them properly. “He showed me the standard of care and ethics I would want to provide for my patients in the future as a professional,” she shares.
Tanoto Foundation is a non-profit organisation established in 2001 by Sukanto Tanoto and his family, whose philanthropy dates back to 1981. It strives to be the centre of excellence in poverty alleviation through education, empowerment, and enhancement of quality of life.