Bali Children Foundation works with schools in Lombok and Gili Islands

In response to the earthquakes that devastated parts of Lombok Indonesia last year, the Bali Children Foundation, founded by Australian Margaret Barry OAM, has commenced extending its work in the Lombok region to assist children who have been affected.

Bali Children Foundation is working closely with school principals on Gili Air, Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno elementary schools, as well as junior and senior high schools on Gili Trawangan and Tanjung Lombok to implement programs in 7 schools over a three-year period, to empower the children in these communities with education.

“Some school buildings were so damaged by these events that children have been learning out of temporary tents or bamboo buildings with less than half the rooms needed to teach core lessons and few chairs or tables for them to use, so they sit on the floor. This is all whilst children are still suffering trauma from the earthquakes,” Ms Barry said.

“We are working alongside village leaders and parents so that families can understand and support them to realise our education to employment goals.”

Bali Children Foundation started its project in 2016 in Gili Meno, supported by the Education Department on Lombok as well as teachers, students and their families. Since their involvement, there has been a noticeable change – from no students progressing to junior high school in 2015/16, to 12 out of 13 students continuing on to junior high school in 2018/2019.

This new project aims to directly impact 1,674 students (2,220 students by 2021) so that each year skilled graduates will be released into the workplace. Counting families, this project would immediately benefit about 8,800 people.

By 2021 graduates will start being released into the employment pool, strengthening businesses on the island with quality staff and providing growing and sustainable employment for the population.

This education to employment project will increasingly become funded by businesses on the islands over the next three years.

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