Children’s Care Centre, Aceh
The Childrens Care Centre set up by Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund and Muhammadiyah, was established in Banda Aceh to assist unattached or seperated children after the 2004 Tsunami. The new and permanent site was officially opened on the 15th of March 2009. Officiating at the opening ceremony was Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Bill Farmer, the Vice-Governor of Aceh, Mr Muhamad Nazar, the Chairman of Muhammadiyah Dr Sudibyo Markus, Father Chris Riley (CEO) and Tony Stewart MP (Chairman) of Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund.
“This is a huge achievement,” said Father Chris Riley, CEO and Founder, Youth Off The Streets. “It is the first time that children and teenagers in a Muhammadiyah orphanage in Indonesia will be housed in cottage style accommodation with a house parent who is dedicated to providing care for the children in each cottage,” he said. “We are thrilled this wonderful project has finally completed, and that Australian generosity to our tsunami appeal has allowed the Children’s Care Centre to become a reality. We thank all the supporters who have helped us give these children a home. We are especially grateful to Clubs across NSW and ClubsNSW who have donated over $1 million to this project,” he continued.
The Centre boasts a range of facilities for the staff and students to enjoy, including a central lounge area for extra study and relaxing, a mosque, dining hall, a kitchen that serves 3 meals a day, a computer room with high speed internet, an administration block and in 2013 Muhammadiyah added a further 4 classrooms with plans to expand the school further. The students are able to study a range of subjects including English, IT, Islamic studies, and History.
Youth Off The Streets Overseas Relief Fund has maintained a scholarship program for the Children’s Care Centre and has provided tertiary education scholarships for children who were orphaned by the 2004 tsunami.
What is also incredible about this school is its use of computers and ELearning software as a secondary system after the classroom system to effectively engage both students and teachers in using different methods to deliver and receive educational materials. The results so far have been outstanding, with most students very competent on computers and many of them even having their own blog. They also contribute to the schools blog and website.