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Note: The painting of Ambassador Andrew Young. The painting is now hung at the main lobby of Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta

Rotary to Build Youth Complex in Banda Acheh

by Howard Chang

April 26, 2006 —— Rotary clubs have launched an ambitious project to build a children’s village and a youth center in Banda Acheh for orphans of the Tsunami. The project will include accommodations, medical and education facilities and a mosque.  When completed, the youth center complex will be able to house 150 children and 500 boarding university students at any one time.

onstruction began in January and the opening of the Rotary Youth Centre is planned for December 2006.  The Centre will include a children’s village, called Gampong Anak, which will have 15 homes that each house 10 children and an adult caretaker. The total cost for the entire project is estimated to be more than US$5 million. To date, more than $2 million has been provided by Rotary International and Rotary clubs in Australia. The land is being provided by the Acheh local government. The local government in Acheh and five universities in Banda are project partners.

Rotary clubs in Australia, key partners of the project, have committed US$1.5 million to build the children’s village.  In addition to construction funding and expertise, they will provide living expenses and operation of the orphanage for five years.

“The building design and construction drawings will be tasked to students from the universities in Sydney and the five universities in Banda Acheh,” said Ritje Rihatinah, co-chair of National Committee for the Solidarity South Asia Fund of the Rotary Foundation, the disaster relief fund set up immediately following the Tsunami.

Five students from Acheh will spend 4 weeks in Sydney working with their counterpart to design the student dormitories and facilities for the center, and in return students from Sydney will participate during part of the construction phase of the project in Banda Acheh,” he added.

The Rotary Foundation, through its Solidarity in South Asia Fund, is distributing US$5 million for reconstruction and rebuilding. Rotary club leaders in the affected countries, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, are coordinating distribution of funds to rebuild schools, hospitals, and homes.

As a community-based organization of business and professional leaders, Rotary works through its network of 32,000 volunteer service clubs in nearly 170 countries.   Rotary has hundreds of clubs and thousands of members in the countries hit by the tsunami.  Rotary clubs in Indonesia are supporting the rehabilitation of the badly damaged coastal communities of southwest Acheh.

For more information on this report, please contact Howard Chang (Rotary Clubs) at 001- 847-866-3408; Email:

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