August 29 2008
Official opening of SOS Children's Village Banda Aceh
29/08/2008 – The new SOS Children's Village in Banda Aceh was officially opened on 21 August. This means that 93 children that were orphaned in the devastating tsunami in December 2004 will again have a home, a family, a sense of belonging and a future.
In Banda Aceh it is still unusual to see the locals gather to celebrate together in their colourful national dress. This time it was a celebration for the children who moved into their new homes a year ago. They happily ran and jumped around the garden and grounds.
93 children and their SOS mothers have been living at SOS Children's Village Banda Aceh since 2007 - Photo: SOS archives
"It's such a great day", said little Mi Jabbah, laughing. "My brothers, sisters and I sang a folk song for the guests that our SOS mother had taught us." Mi Jabbah lost her mother and both siblings in the tsunami.
The children were delighted to be at the official opening - Photo: SOS archives
"It fills me with delight to see the children growing up in a healthy, loving environment. Here, they can put their traumas behind them and look forward to a promising future!", says a delighted Mr Siddhartha Kaul, Deputy Secretary General for SOS Children's Villages Asia.
SOS Children's Village Banda Aceh was built seven kilometres outside Banda Aceh. It consists of 15 family houses, a community house and an SOS kindergarten. Construction work began in August 2006 and the first children were able to move in just a year later. SOS Children's Village Banda Aceh is the third SOS Children's Village that was built in Indonesia after the tsunami. The two others are in Medan and Meulaboh. It was thanks to the many donations and the active support of SOS friends from all across the world that it was possible to build all three villages.