Perth charity helps create 'pop up' schools for Lombok quake kids
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Perth charity helps create 'pop up' schools for Lombok quake kids

Australian and Indonesian charities are scrambling to create "pop-up" schools to help children whose place of learning was destroyed by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Lombok.

The death toll from the quake earlier this month has passed 430 and left thousands homeless; thousands of homes and businesses across the island have been destroyed including more than 400 schools.

To help children in Lombok continue their studies, Perth registered charity Classroom of Hope is raising money for on-the-ground NGOs Pelita Foundation and GNI Indonesia to set up temporary schools in tents wherever they are needed.

This tent is the HQ of the Pelita Foundation as it sets up pop up schools in Lombok.

This tent is the HQ of the Pelita Foundation as it sets up pop up schools in Lombok.

Photo: Richard Jones

Speaking from the neighbouring island of Bali, Classroom of Hope's founder Duncan Ward said the groups were aiming to raise enough money to set up 27 pop-up schools in North Lombok.

"Two pop-up schools are being set up. One in a camp of 3000 people and the other in a camp of 800," Mr Ward said.

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"Our partners are working tirelessly to get the schools setup and we are now seeing stories of hope. This is stage one.

"Stage two will need to be assessed once we know the full extent of the schools destroyed and then take a collaborative approach with the Indonesian government and other NGOs to start the rebuilding of these schools."

Hundreds of schools have been destroyed, but locals are helping to create new learning spaces.

Hundreds of schools have been destroyed, but locals are helping to create new learning spaces.

Photo: Richard Jones

The pop-up schools that are underway so far are at the Polsek Refugee Camp where 300 children are being educated, and Penjalin Refugee Camp where 200 are learning; both are in the process of being completed and teaching has begun in the Polsek camp.

Teams are assessing the education needs of scores of other refugee camps and will aim to set up 27 Pop Up Schools in Pemenang District, with the intention to create a model that can be used by other districts.

Mr Ward said it cost between $2000-$5000 to set up a pop-up school, depending on the demographic, camp size, number of kids, teachers available, schools supplies and logistics.

The NGOs provide the tent, school supplies and help with teaching while local communities contribue the location, local teachers and a commitment to co-run the school.

"Donate at www.classroomofhope.org/donate — 100 per cent of donations go directly to creating Pelita Pop-up Schools," Mr Ward said.

David Allan-Petale is a Fairfax Media journalist and writer based in Western Australia, breaking news with a focus on arts and culture.