Never has there been a group of people so dedicated and committed to such an important cause. Their passion for the Orang Utan community is not only immeasurable but also addicting. The incredible research that has been done by these folks on the habitats and preservation of these fantastic creatures would amaze anyone! After hearing several hands-on experts speak along with their extremely informative video presentations, I knew right away that as long as this Foundation is around and supported , that Orang Utans would have the best chance to be protected and nurtured. What a wonderful, professional, well organized, educated and essential cause to protect such beautiful creatures!!
I have known Dr. Gary Shairo many years as we share great appreciation for the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia. I am a donor, a Board Member, and a volunteer to this worthwhile organization that strives to enhance the lives of the Indonesians themselves, in addition to trying to guide land use practices in proximity to natural habitat of orangutans and other highly valued endangered forest species. A great strength of this organization is its collaboration with other like-minded conservation organizations focused on protecting orangutans in Indonesia. Recently, the Orang Utan Republik (OUR) officially partnered with an Australian non-profit known as The Orangutan Project (TOP) which is a much larger organization, so that OUR may enjoy greater capacity for larger projects than before. These two organizations will work in concert with each other.
This small non-profit organization has accomplished much within its multiple ongoing programs that all center around the theme of preserving and protecting orangutans and their habitat in Indonesia . While Gary Shapiro pretty much runs the show, he is training and cultivating relationships with local Indonesians and other Indonesian NGOs to perform the tasks of the organization and to enrich the local people in the process. OURF emphasizes education, bringing topical instruction to classrooms as well as educating by demonstration and leadership, examples of sustainable agriculture and living practices that have lower environmental impacts in communities situated in the vicinity of orangutans. Because of careful oversight and application of good communication skills, OURF operates on a modest budget but touches many people and groups in both Northern Sumatera and a few locations in Borneo, where orangutans still can be found.
OURF works with heart and passion educating and inspiring. More can be done with greater resources.
I am on the board of this orangutan foundation for two reasons: it has a solid approach for making long-lasting change by working at the grass roots' level in Indonesia: and the president of the foundation, the orangutan scientist Gary Shapiro, is a man of sincerity and integrity.
Prof. Shawn Thompson, author of The Intimate Ape: Orangutans and the Secret Life of a Vanishing Species