By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The name Sime Darby is not only associated with oil palm in Liberia, particularly in western Liberia, it is also associated with timely intervention in the human resource development of war-torn Liberia.
The intervention of the company in the human resource development has been made public by beneficiaries of the Sime Darby Plantation scholarship Students Union (SDPLSSU) Tuesday in Monrovia.
The students through their representatives said what the company has done for them needs to be made public for Liberians to know the significance of the company in the country, particularly in its areas of work since it entered into an agreement with the Liberian Government in 2009.
Adama Seh, the President of the Sime Darby Plantation scholarship Students Union (SDPLSSU) disclosed that as beneficiaries, they are happy because there are lots of things that have been done for citizens in the company’s operational areas especially in the human resource area.
Seh who is reading Accounting at the University of Liberia further disclosed that through the timely intervention of the company, majority of his colleagues had graduated from Cuttington and other universities and colleges around the country.
“Since the inception of the scholarships, we have 18 persons in Cuttington, 12 persons at the University of Liberia, five persons in Stellar Maris Polytechnic, Two persons at Sinje polytechnic, Two in Bomi County community college, and about 5000 students at the SDPL school system free and those are things that have been going on and we have not had the opportunity to inform the public and today we want to have the public informed that those are things the company is doing for us,” he said.
The exuberant student leader said they are so much blessed through the company because the scholarship process is transparent for everyone who meets the criteria to take advantage.
“I was one of the duxes from the initial stage. US$810.00 was given to me from the initial stage, this scholarship has extended to the next where we have excellence scholars. The excellence scholars had to benefit where you have up to US$1275.00 excluding school fees at the end of the semester. These are things that management of the company is doing for us. We are so grateful to the management of Sime Darby. As we speak, some of our colleagues are in Malaysia, they are in one of the best universities in that country on the expense of the company,” he added.
“Prior to obtaining the scholarship, I didn’t have the beginning, everything was being done by my parents especially when my mother used to do ‘Sell and pay’, but now, I am a bread winner of my family because of what I am getting from SDPL. I am getting US$1275.00 for cost of living from SDPL, school fees is not part of it. It means tactically I am working. It is in my agreement that I will go and work with the company. I have a secure job waiting for me,” he added.
For his part, one of the beneficiaries, Collins Tamba who is reading Agriculture at the Stellar Maris Polytechnic noted that upon graduating from high school, he never had the opportunity to enter college, but through the timely intervention of Sime Darby, he is now in college.
“Fortunately for me offered I applied for Sime Darby scholarship and I was successful. Since I was born, my first time handling US$810.00 was through Sime Darby. I will so ungrateful if I don’t come to this press briefing to let the public know what Sime Darby is doing for us,” he lauded the company.
Tamba indicated that there are lots of students who are less fortunate who come to the scholarship scheme and benefit from the scholarship.
“The scholarship scheme is a merit based scholarship if you worked for it you will get it. I applied for the scholarship in 2013 and I went through successfully without knowing anybody in the system and it is different from other scholarship programs anywhere because managers’ children even sat for the test and failed the test. Our people are benefiting because we the children are benefiting,” he noted.
They commended the company for being there for them and promised to fulfill their promise to the company and the people of Liberia.