For the 51 students at various tertiary institutions in the country benefiting from Sime Darby’s scholarship program, the hardship allowance of US$135 per month provided by the company, amid the deadly Ebola outbreak is far from a corporate social responsibility. It is a great sense of humanity that any company would consider. That was what some of the beneficiaries have said in recent times.
They believe that the company could have stopped the scholarship allowance since they were not attending college after the Ebola outbreak, but Sime Darby Foundation decided to go extra mile.
The Sime Darby Foundation had always given beneficiaries of its scholarship in Liberia monthly allowances of US$45 to US$135 per month but decided to step up the amount for all 51 students to US$135 per month after Ebola struck the country, leaving schools closed. And with economic activities taking a nosedive, the Malaysian company decided to come to the rescue of its students.
“For me, what the company is doing is more than a help. There is not active work at the planation due to the Ebola outbreak, yet they are paying and have even increased the amount. I am just grateful for such assistance,” HannahKarnwhiene, an agriculture student at the Stella Maris Polytechnic in Monrovia told this paper recently.
In Liberia, many girls shy away from entering into the field of agriculture due to what they call difficulties in obtaining jobs after graduation.
The hardship allowance will last until Ebola is finally eradicated and normalcy returns when the economy begins taking its first step out of recession. Once normalcy returns and the students are back in school, the company would revert to its old payment scheme which it started.