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Newest child-friendly school, better access to basic education marks UNICEF's 4th year support in Nias, Indonesia

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.
Situated at the heart of the capital town of Gunungsitoli in Nias District, North Sumatra; the island’s primary schools: SDN 075018 Afilaza and SDN 070976 Kota, will provide the surrounding community with better access to basic education.
So far UNICEF has completed the construction of 46 schools with the remaining 79 buildings progressing at full steam. More than 35,000 children have benefited from Creating Learning Communities for Children education programs.
“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,” said Temazaro Harefa, Deputy District Head. 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. 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 four years of UNICEF’s support in Nias, the agency is focusing on Strengthening Basic Education System (Access to quality Education, Early Childhood Development including for school readiness), Strengthening Health Care System (including nutrition and water-sanitation), and Strengthening Child Protection Referral System.
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.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood to adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information, contact:
Fitria Rinawati, + 62 813 974 52299, frinawati@unicef.org,
Lely Djuhari, + 62 811 802338, ldjuhari@unicef.org




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