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Building it back better

New school in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
New school in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

After the tsunami, life for the children of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, was completely disrupted with the loss of homes and schools. Knowing the importance of structure and stability in children’s lives, Plan worked quickly to set up temporary schools while simultaneously working with communities to build new, permanent facilities.

Today, children in Banda Aceh have a brand new school—Min Durung School—thanks to your Solutions Sponsorship, the efforts of Plan staff and the community.

When the building work was complete, Plan handed the school over to the local community in a special ceremony attended by more than 200 community members.

The ceremony opened with a reading from the Koran. Children from the school then performed a traditional dance called Ranub Lampuan, which means “An Honor to Guests”. Plan staff then signed the Berita Acara Serah Terima (the official documents), cut the ribbon, and announced the school officially open!

Plan Aceh Program Support Manager Richard Sandison said: "The new school has six classrooms, five toilets, a library, a staffroom, two staff homes and a playground. There is a covered place for children to leave their bicycles, and a balee—a small, roofed open space for reading and teaching the Koran.

"The school building is now finished, but we will continue to work with the school on a School Improvement Program (SIP). This program will focus on improving child-friendly teaching methodologies, strengthening school governance and emphasizing the importance of a healthy school environment. We will implement plans in all the schools that we build.

"Schools are designed in close consultation with children. Children have contributed many good ideas that we have used in the final designs. These ideas include better ventilation in classrooms and separate girls' and boys' toilet facilities."

In addition to this school, Plan is building seven primary schools, eight kindergartens and nine education and early childhood care and development centers in Banda Aceh.

The tsunami is over, but the work of rebuilding continues. Plan is committed to helping Banda Aceh rebuild, and your support of our Solutions program makes it all possible.