OUR NEW PROGRAM
The world's first-ever Block School was built in Taman Sari: a small earthquake devastated village in Lombok, Indonesia. Lombok was devastated by earthquakes throughout 2018, which killed 563 people, displaced more than 417,000, and destroyed over 400 schools. In the aftermath of the earthquakes, Classroom of Hope supported the building of 23 Pop-Up Schools with our local partner Pelita Foundation, which helped approximately 4,000 children get back into education.
The Pop-Up Schools were a temporary measure. There was still an urgent need to get thousands of children back into permanent schools. We searched for a solution and came across Block Solutions, a Finland-based company building low-income housing in Africa with recycled plastic block technology. Block Solutions had not yet used their technology to construct a school when we first began our conversations with them, but there was no reason it couldn't be done!
With so much rebuilding left to do on Lombok, it was clear that the island would be home to the Block School pilot project. Moreover, since many children and parents were left feeling scared after the earthquakes, it made sense that we would rebuild using lightweight Blocks that are earthquake-resistant due to their elasticity.
After months of preparation, on 9 June 2021, the first layer of blocks was assembled by the local contractors with leadership and guidance from Block Solutions Chief Technology Officer, Toni Kontkanen. Toni flew from Finland to Indonesia to instruct and guide the local construction team in building the first-ever school built with Block Solutions technology.
The structure was complete in less than a week. It took the construction team an additional two weeks to finish the details and aesthetics of the school such as tiling, plastering, painting, and installing ceilings, lighting, fans, and whiteboards. The school was completed on 3 July 2021.