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History of SMA Negeri 1 Banda Aceh

SMA Negeri 1 Banda Aceh was established on 1 September 1946 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious senior high schools in Banda Aceh. The building was used as MULO High school in the colonial era. It is located in the heart of Banda Aceh near the esplanade. This old Dutch public building was built in classical Greek temple style. Formerly it had only three parts, but gradually other buildings were added, so that now there are 24 classes plus facilities like library, laboratories, offices, teachers' rooms, small mosque, cafeteria, etc.


26 December 2004 Tsunami

The tsunami destroyed vast areas of Banda Aceh. Many people lost their lives, including teachers and students at the SMA Negeri 1 School. The main building survived the tsunami, but the fence and surrounding buildings were seriously damaged. 258 of the school's 1,158 pupils were killed by the earthquake and tsunami and 23 of the 103 teachers and staff died.

The building itself suffered about 25 percent damages, for example, broken windows and doors, broken sliding doors, etc. The fence was totally destroyed. The school lost 100% its equipment, the library and the furniture on the ground floor.

Situation in mid-2005

The school was in dire need of equipment for the laboratory, such as microscopes, tubes, as well as computers, printers and a photocopier. It also needed an electricity generator, since there is still no stable power supply and the electricity installation needs repair. There is not a single computer available, whereas the final exams for the year will be held in June.

The pupils' organisation is still running, but the cooperative has not yet restarted its activity since all the board members died in the tsunami and all the data is gone. Several parties have come to this school to do an assessment, including NGOs, government and other institutions.

Project to repair the school

In response to this situation, a project was proposed by members of the Lestari Heritage Network. to rebuild this school, called "SMA Negeri 1 Banda Aceh, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Renovation Project". Through the Lestari Network they got in touch with Jean-Pierre Allain, a representative of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). He worked with them to produce a solid project proposal that could be presented to donors. AIIC had indicated its desire to help tsunami victims by funding part of a reconstruction project.

Project objectives

This project aimed to repair damaged parts of the buildings and to supply some urgently needed equipment. It is planned that the restored buildings which will be listed as protected heritage later.

This project was planned for a 3 month period (including 1 month preparation), with the aim of completing work by 26 December 2005, a year after the tsunami struck. In August 2005 AIIC provided some funding, but that was not enough to complete the project. J-P. Allain managed to find the additional funding needed to complete it, through contacts in Switzerland.

The project is now completed: The building has been repaired; the fence has been entirely rebuilt; 15 computers, computer desks and ancillaries, plus a printer, a photocopier and a power generator have been installed and are being used; laboratory equipment has been replaced. A new library has been set up on the first floor. The previous library was on the ground floor and was totally destroyed by the tsunami.

The school is operating normally again and its enrollment is gradually growing, as the community slowly recovers from this terrible disaster.


TThis project was funded by:
International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) Geneva, Switzerland www.aiic.net

Swiss Solidarity Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland www.bonheur.ch
The project leader, Yenny Rahmayati, a member of Lestari Heritage Network., contacted Jean-Pierre Allain, conference interpreter, former President of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). He had been asked by AIIC to identify a small project to which his association could contribute for the reconstruction of infrastructure after the tsunami. Together they worked out the project proposal. The total project budget exceeded the amount donated by AIIC, so Jean-Pierre searched for additional sources of funding. Through his contacts he obtained the balance of the funds necessary for the project from the Swiss Solidarity Fund. He worked with Yenny Rahmayati in the follow-up and financial and narrative reports to donors.

The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) is the only worldwide professional association of conference interpreters. Founded in 1953 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, it establishes the standards for professional conference interpretation, promotes the profession and protects its members' interests.

The Swiss Solidarity Fund (known in Switzerland by its French name "Fondation Chaine du Bonheur") is a charity that collects donations from Swiss citizens through its well-known TV programme. All donations go towards relief operations in various parts of the world.

Save Aceh Heritage

Post-Tsunami Alert

the Heritage of Aceh


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Introduction to Aceh
Aceh Heritage Sites

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Aceh Heritage
Community Foundation

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Renovation Project
(Ex Mulo School)

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A project by Lestari Heritage Network
incorporating the Asia & West Pacific Network for Urban Conservation (AWPNUC)