28 G O O D N E I G H B O R S

Equal opportunity in an unequal world: Evonik sponsors education
INDONESIA, CIKARANG School fees and student tuition often exceed a family’s monthly income. Evonik therefore supports a select group of committed schoolchildren and students. One of them is 22-year-old Setiawan, pictured here with his family

About 15,000 kilometers away, Reza Setiawan is sitting in the office of Andri Gunawan, the personnel manager at the Evonik plant in Cikarang Industrial City on the Indonesian island of Java. Setiawan, 22, has a good reason to celebrate: Yesterday he received his diploma in mechanical engineering at Indonesia University of Education in the regional capital Bandung. He needed only four years to complete his studies, instead of the usual four and a half. What’s more, he was the first student in the university’s history to receive a perfect grade point average of 3.87. There’s also a good reason why this academic star is celebrating his success today at Evonik. “My parents are simple rice farmers, and I have three siblings,” he says. “We could never have afforded a university education on our own. My scholarship from Evonik made it possible.” Setiawan’s parents earn about 500,000 Indonesian rupiahs a month—the equivalent of just under €40. “A month at college costs at least 850,000 rupiahs a month in total,” he adds. But he was lucky—he was the first person to receive a scholarship in Cikarang. This is where Evonik

produces hydrogen peroxide for the paper industry. The plant is located only 20 minutes from Setiawan’s high school, SMAN Cikarang Utara, in the residential neighborhood north of the industrial park (“utara” means “north”). Today the Group supports the high school’s 15 best graduates every year. Evonik’s personnel manager Gunawan and Kamaludin, his boss, conduct personal interviews with the five best graduates and choose one of them to receive a university scholarship. “Reza impressed us immediately, because he’s very smart and also because he’s a local boy. An original Cikarang native!” says Gunawan. In addition to Setiawan’s student fees, books, and a laptop, Evonik financed his living costs, as he was living on his own during his studies. It’s an investment that has paid off. “I definitely want to get a master’s degree, preferably in Germany,” says Setiawan. This spring he will apply for a place at the Technical College of Jena. Until then, he’s doing an internship at Evonik.

Evonik Magazine 1 | 2013