Education as a key to a better future, a personal story!

This month we share the story of one of the students in the Masarang scholarship program.

This student is the son of pak Riyanto, who is the program manager for the socialization of Masarang’s sugar palm program and in charge of distributing the sugar palm seedlings in the Sintang region in West Kalimantan.

“My name is Michael Riyanto. I study biology at the biology faculty of UGM; Universitas Gajah Mada in Yogyakarta. I just finished my first year. Living and studying here in Yogyakarta is quite hard. It really is different with the life I’ve lived in Sintang. I’m having a hard time here in UGM because my basic education level when I was a highschooler in Sintang was really bad to be honest. I was surprised to see my friends here were really knowledge-able. So studying here is quite a struggle for me. But I will work hard and not give up!

Group picture at the elementary school in Kalirejo village, with Michael at the back in the middle

Michael in class teaching English (on the right in the white shirt)

Next to studying I’m also busy with extra curricular activities. I’ve joined an organization that organizes all kinds of events here at the biology faculty UGM. I’m in the talent and passion department. I’m organizing all about sport and music in this department. We take care of sports training (basketball, futsal and many more), music training (orchestra, dance and many more). But i’m in charge of sports in my department. We took care of faculty dies natalis, lustrum, and new students orientation programs. We’re very busy lately. Yesterday, we’ve finished our second music corner (an event for students to perform in music) as an opening for our faculty lustrum. It was fun but it’s tiring of course.

I’m also teaching English to children in Kalirejo village, Sieman, near Yogyakarta. This is organized from our faculty’s community development program.

It was fun too teach children, to be honest. I’m having such a wonderful experience here in Yogyakarta. I’m recognized by many of my fellow students here, and I’m changing a part of myself to care more for others, as my friend told me. Thank you very much Masarang for giving me this opportunity.”


After Michael graduates from his studies, Michael will join and support Masarang’s activities in West Kalimantan. We wish him good luck!