Sekolah Alam Leuser - SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society
School children sitting in a classroom in Sumatra

Sekolah Alam Leuser (Leuser Nature School) helps children and their parents become guardians of the forest.

Built in memory of our founder, Lucy Wisdom, the school at Bukit Mas provides free secondary education. Please help us fund the ongoing costs of keeping the school open.

Sekolah Alam Leuser, or Leuser Nature School, has been built at Bukit Mas with the aim of incentivising local farmers to become guardians of the forest by providing free education for their children in exchange for their active involvement in forest restoration and protection efforts.

There are currently 35 pupils of secondary school age enrolled at the school. There are no other secondary schools in the area, making it extremely expensive and challenging for families to send their children to school. Sekolah Alam Leuser will therefore enable local children in the villages around Bukit Mas to remain in education for much longer than they might otherwise have done – before Sekolah Alam Leuser, they would have finished their schooling at age 11 or 12.

An aerial view of a bamboo building in a green landscape

The school from the air. Photo by Paul Daley.

A typical school day starts at 7am, enabling the pupils to start their lessons before the heat of the day becomes too intense. Dressed in the uniforms provided by the school, the pupils start their day with half an hour of dance to contemporary Indonesian pop anthems to help them feel happy and alert before they sit down for lessons.

Two women sitting at the front of a classroom. One is reading a book to the class.

Learning English by learning about orangutans. Photo by Andrew Walmsley.

One of the school’s aims is to train the next generation in sustainable agriculture, so the school building is flanked by a small but thriving vegetable garden. The pupils are taught how to grow everything from small chilli plants to tall rows of corn, all without chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

Inside the classroom, there is a steadily growing library of books in Bahasa Indonesia and English, many with a strong focus on wildlife and the environment.

Please support the school and the next generation of Indonesian conservationists by donating using the form below.


An adult sumatran orangutan

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