Photo: Doc. BBaF (Yanto Kapa Djeen)

Kupang, Vox NTT-BBaF or Berburu Beasiswa ala FAN (Forum Academia NTT) is a local initiative established in March 2011 by Olyvianus Dadi Lado, a member of FAN and also an Australia Awards recipient. BBaF is founded on the awareness that scholarship information across countries has been being provided abundantly, yet not many people know this information particularly those who live in East Nusa Tenggara. On the other hand, those who have been applying for scholarships need mentoring process.

BBaF answers these needs. It does not only provide scholarship information, but also continual mentoring by presenting alumni and recipients of various scholarships who voluntarily offer themselves to mentor scholarship hunters across East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). This mentoring activity is conducted every Saturday in IRGSC office. It runs since the opening phase of scholarships each year.

In terms of management, BBaF is open for sharing session from any scholarship recipients to boost motivation, expand knowledge in applying scholarship application and bridge networks between scholarship recipients and scholarship hunters. BBaF team elects one coordinator to run BBaF activities. Every scholarship information is posted on Facebook group named “Berburu Beasiswa ala FAN” where thousands of members across East Nusa Tenggara have joined. Since the beginning there have been 5 coordinators elected to run BBaF named Olkes, Merly Klaas, Seluz Fahik, Oni Djulete and the prevailing coordinator, Yanto Kapa Djeen. Four of them are scholarship recipients and alumni from universities in Australia and the USA.

There are a lot of scholarship awardees from NTT. Some of them were the recipients of Australia Awards Scholarship (AAS), LPDP, Fulbright, Prestasi, BIT (Beasiswa Indonesia Timur), not to mention scholarships from other countries such as New Zealand, Korea, and Japan. Yanto, the current BBaF coordinator stated that of more than 330 LPDP awardees 40 people gained LPDP scholarship, 3 people obtained Fulbright scholarship and 4 people obtained Prestasi scholarship since the first time LPDP opened. All of them were benefited from BBaF class since 2014. It has not been counted based on the data from 2011 to 2014 and from the number of Australia Awards and other scholarship recipients.

To spread access of scholarship equally, BBaF outreaches other scholarship hunters in several regions in East Nusa Tenggara including SoE and Rote. BBaF in SoE is entitled BERBASIS (Berburu Beasiswa dan Belajar Bahasa Inggris) initiated by Sandra Frans, while in Rote it is named BBaF Rote and initiated by Sherwin Ufi. Both of them are Australian Awards recipients.

BBaF Rote started in July 2017. It is established since many Rotenese intend to pursue scholarships, but they cannot attend regular BBaF class in Kupang and they need information and mentoring from alumni. BBaF Rote accommodates both offline and online learning. Interestingly, BBaF Rote promotes the first sharing experience learning-based online discussion in East Nusa Tenggara. Many volunteers who want to share their experiences in gaining scholarships reside outside of Rote island. On the other hand, not all scholarship hunters can attend offline sharing sessions in IRGSC. That is why they need online platform to facilitate it. Since early December 2017 BBaF Rote has launched its weekly online discussion and presented three speakers namely Dorkas Johannis, Australia Awards scholarship recipient, Merly Klaas, Prestasi scholarship recipient, and Ricky Therik, LPDP recipient and a PhD candidate is about to share this week.

Online discussion of BBaF Rote is held on WhatsApp group and it is open not only for Rotenese, but also for NTT people who are interested in pursuing scholarship but cannot attend BBaF offline class in Kupang. The online discussion has its team to moderate the discussion including Dince Bunda, the principal of Lentera Harapan school in Rote and Ester Ndu Ufi, a high school student in Rote. Both of them are Rotenese and are also about to pursue their next degrees through scholarships. Sherwin acknowledged that many of Rotenese have strong determination and they need to be connected to this type of discussion. In the future BBaF is expected to expand across NTT.

Author:Sherwin Ufi

Edited by: Rini Kartini/Alex Madar

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