Scholarships can be the glue to bind together friendships that were torn apart. By bringing together East Indonesian students, especially those in Papua, where there has been fighting between groups in schools, we can restore harmony. Thus, the Social Trust Fund (STF) UIN Jakarta is collaborating with the Indonesia Peacebuilding Institute (Lembaga Perdamaian Indonesia, LPI) on a program called “Peace Scholarships for Post-Conflict Areas in Papua” in 2020.
Educational assistance is not enough. For children who live in post-conflict situations or in areas vulnerable to conflict and violence, the Peace Scholarships are a valuable asset for the children, their families, the implementing institutions and the surrounding community. The scholarships create an opportunity for students to contribute to creating spaces for them to be able to greet each other respectfully.
This scholarship model not only provides for the needs of education costs such as tuition fees, textbooks, examination fees, pocket money, uniform money, but also is oriented towards strengthening relations between recipients, families and different religious groups. Besides gender, the proportion of ethnic Papuans and non-Papuans is also taken into consideration. This kind of model will not expand if scholarships only focus on access to education or supporting achievement.
LPI is an official organisation that was established by Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) alumni from Indonesia. MPI has trained over 2,200 grassroots peacebuilders from 2000 until 2019, including over 200 from Indonesia. Ridwan Al-Makassary, a co-founder of LPI, attended MPI‘s Annual Peacebuilding Training in 2016 and a specialised facilitation training for peacebuilders in 2019.