Sekolah Papua Harapan began with the hope of training Papuan pilot candidates for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). While not an educator, then-MAF Papua Program Manager Wally Wiley began to conceptualize an educational program to develop Papuan children from young ages to pursue pilot and mechanic roles.
In 1997, Wally met Bapak Johannes Oentoro and Bapak James Riady when the two businessmen brought famine relief supplies to Papua. When asked by the men what Papua's biggest need was, Wally responded, "education." Wally found out later that Pak Johannes and Pak James had founded the Pelita Harapan school system in Jakarta. In 2003, Pak Johannes and Pak James partnered with Wally to found Yayasan Pendidikan Harapan Papua, a foundation for the school.
After several years of negotiating a purchase of land for the campus, a sale agreement was made in March 2008. In October 2008, the school began its first year in temporary facilities, with two teachers trained in the Sekolah Pelita Harapan system in Jakarta and eight students from Papua's interior. In August 2009, a day school program added students from the Sentani local area.
Since Wally's initial vision, the goals of Sekolah Papua Harapan have grown to include training Papuan children to become not only pilots, but men and women of faith and integrity to serve in any role. The development of the school through calling, prayer and collaboration is one we hope is a legacy for children educated here.