UNICEF’s 4th year support in Nias, Indonesia

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
By borokoa

* marked by an inauguration of new child-friendly school

Gunungsitoli, Nias, 15 May 2009, The inauguration of the newest and largest child-friendly school marked the fourth year of UNICEF support after Indonesia’s Nias earthquake.

The newly inaugurated school – SDN 075018 Afilaza – SDN 070976 Kota – is situated at the heart of the capital town of Gunungsitoli in Nias District, North Sumatra. According to UNICEF Nias, the school is expected that the school will provide the surrounding community with better access to basic education.

“UNICEF’s support has given children here better access to basic education using earthquake-resistant and child-friendly standards like the one we see today,” Deputy District Head, Temazaro Harefa, said. Other programmes such as quality education, child protection, health and nutrition, water sanitation and hygiene, “will bring them a better, brighter future,” he added.

Capable of seating 500 students, the new building replaces two schools devastated by the massive earthquake. The two-storey compound has 16 well-lit and well-ventilated classrooms. Its 30 teachers were all from the original schools. Built in cooperation with Nippon Koei, it is quake resistant and also has separate toilets for boys and girls, a library and a large courtyard.

“This school now needs to be filled with life, with knowledgeable teachers and motivated students,” Angela Kearney, UNICEF Indonesia Representative in her opening speech. Together, we can ensure students have a safe and proper learning space. All our work here is part of our commitment to build back better.”

For the past 4 years of UNICEF’s support in Nias, the agency is focusing on Strengthening Basic Education System (Access to and quality Education, Early Childhood Development), Strengthening Health Care System (including nutrition and water-sanitation), and Strengthening Child Protection Referral System.

So far UNICEF has completed the construction of 46 schools with constructions of the remaining 79 now at full steam. More than 35,000 children have benefited from Creating Learning Communities for Children education programs.

Over half of the population had benefited from a better health care system with expanded immunization service, programmes to control malaria, improve early childhood development, nutrition, maternal and newborn-child health. Over 50,000 people, including children, have benefited from water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and learned how to live a clean and healthy life through hand washing with soap. The district has also issued a decree to strengthen a child protection referral system in Nias. (fr/ld/brk/*)

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