School in Paradise is one of the non-profit organizations dedicated to the education of children and youth on the island of Lombok, Indonesia. We have been operating in Lombok since 2013 when we started a school construction project in Petiwung.
We are currently working extensively with several local entities, focusing mainly on covering English language classes. We strive to continuously improve the quality of English teaching and enable children to choose their own future. We are also actively seeking potential local partners interested in collaborating and improving the quality of education.
The association was founded in 2016 by Andrea Stárková, Marcel Žitník and Filip Žitník. Andrea provided on-site teaching, facilitated volunteers’ contact with local partners, organized various events for children and actively searched for localities interested in cooperation. She also taught in the selected schools and courses. Filip and Marcel Žitníkovi from the Go2 Travel Agency provide financial resources for the training and deal with organisational issues related to the running of the organisation.
We have been operating in Lombok, Indonesia since 2013, when we started a school construction project in Petiwung.
We build schools
We focus on building schools in the poorest areas as a key element in the fight against ignorance and poverty.
We teach children
We teach children because we believe that education is the most important investment we can make in the future of our society.
Making the world a better place
We make the world a better place by investing in education, which is one way to solve problems comprehensively.
Who we are and what we have done
Andrea has left her heart to Lombok since she started working on the island in 2010. For many years, she has been working to educate local children, serving as coordinator of the civic association School in Paradise, and from 2013 to 2017 she implemented a cooperation project with a school in Petiwung, South Lombok, which included not only teaching in the school, but also the construction of school buildings and countless after-school events for children. It then worked consistently and over a long period of time with two professional language courses and assisted other Lombok partners in their efforts to educate children and youth. In the summer season she works in Bohemian Paradise, where she is responsible for the preparation and implementation of environmental education programmes for children under the umbrella of the Bohemian Paradise Environmental Education Centre.
Marcel lives alternately in Australia and Indonesia. He met Andrea in Lombok in 2013. Word got around and together they agreed to work together to support a school in Lombok. Marcel is in charge of funding and coordinating the project. In his spare time he enjoys water sports and activities with the travel agency Go2, which offers holidays in Indonesia among other things.
Go2 donates part of the funds from the tours to Indonesia to the school construction project.
Tereza is currently working as a coordinator of volunteers going to Lombok since 2023. She teaches English and Czech at a high school in Prague, handles requests from Marcel or Andrea, communicates with Lombok teachers and teaches English online in one of the Lombok courses – IEC.
She went to Lombok for the first time in 2018, when she found herself volunteering by chance – her friend Míša had arranged a volunteer internship in Lombok with her classmate, but she couldn’t make the trip to the other side of the planet. Teresa went to Lombok for the second time in 2019. She tried teaching in both of the courses currently offered as well as in other schools and English classes (in Sengkol, Kenaru, Kabul and the aforementioned Sayang Ibu eco-school in Mataram) and fell in love with Lombok – as probably did each of the other volunteers who went to this magical island.
Please contact Teresa with any requests, questions or comments. She will be happy to advise you
Other related lecturers and organizations:
We have been working with Aisyah since 2014, when we met more or less by chance (Lombok is small). Aisyah has visited our school in Petiwung many times, once with a lecture on waste recovery, the second time with an art workshop, and the next time with donations from donors. Her vivacity and vitality is infectious. It was she who brought us to the Sayang Ibu Eco-School in Gunnungsari, which we were thrilled to see, and where, thanks to our support, a few children from poor backgrounds from the south of the island have been studying since 2018. Together we organised the first eco-festival in Kuta.
School in Paradise Foundation is also a member of LEIC (Lombok Eco International Connection), an international association founded by Aisyah to share eco and environmental experience. In collaboration with Aisyah, we are currently helping to start up a volunteer eco-club in Sengkol. We are also working to enable more volunteers to work in the small community nursery that Aisyah and our organisation LEIC helped build in Kapal village on the south coast of Lombok. Aisyah even visited us in the Czech Republic in the summer of 2018 and we hope she took away a lot of inspiration.
Sayang Ibu, Mataram
This is a rural boarding eco-school in the capital of Lombok, Mataram. We are currently liaising with Ms. Diah who could facilitate a few days for volunteers at this school as well.
Eliyan is an English teacher who herself has lived abroad for a while – namely in the USA, and is currently working on the Nusantara Eco-School project, teaching English to local children in Sengkol.
WHAT WE’VE ALREADY DONE
SCHOOL IN PETIWUNG – OUR FIRST PROJECT
We discovered the school by accident in 2013. Andrea was volunteering at a nearby public school and came across a preschool being built on land belonging to the father of a little schoolgirl named Bunga. He was a big fan of education and was keen to provide it for both his daughter and other children in the local community.
Marcel from Go2, a travel agency that has been working in Indonesia for a long time, also heard about the nursery in the rainforest that needed financial help. Word got around and after several visits we started working together.
We liked how eager the locals were to provide education for the children. After getting to know the director and landowner and drinking countless coffees with a ton of sugar, we decided to help the community, first by buying textbooks and teaching aids, then building infrastructure.
The first investment was the purchase of textbooks for first and second grade, as the children only had one notebook and pencil each.
December 2013 – purchase of textbooks: IDR 7 000 000 (approx. 14 000 CZK)
NEW SCHOOL BUILDING
At the beginning of 2014, we decided to go all out and started building a school building and a library. We financed the construction of the building, Andrea supervised everything and the locals helped. One of the things we pride ourselves on is just having a lot of local involvement.
Fresh third graders entered the new classroom in the fall of 2014. The foundation for the library was provided by Green-books.org, a Czech organization that works to educate Indonesian children about ecology and conservation, and which is establishing community libraries throughout Indonesia.
January – April 2014 – school building with library and choir room.
In December 2014, we are buying textbooks for the third grade and finally quality English textbooks that meet our requirements (but those are not available until Bali!)
After a few weeks of teaching, it is clear that the new textbooks have made the lessons more attractive for both the children and the teachers, who can now be much more systematic in their teaching.
December 2014 – third grade textbook + English textbook: 4 000 000 IDR (approx. 8 000 CZK)
NEW SCHOOL BUILDING 2015
In March 2015, another classroom space, designed for incoming fourth graders, is nearing completion. The only thing missing is to concrete the floor, in which the parents of the children are also participating. In the library, we read nature books with the children, while also trying to educate them about books.
January – March 2015 – Budget for the completion of the new building.
We regularly clean up around the school and have introduced a long-running competition to collect separated waste, in collaboration with Mrs. Aisyah and her Bank Sampah Lombok.
In December 2015 we are purchasing textbooks for another class, so at the moment four grades in our school have basic textbooks. Which, as we have seen in our visits to other schools in the South Lombok area, is not at all a given.
December 2015 – set of textbooks for grade 4 – IDR 4 000 000, approx. 8 000 CZK
CONSTRUCTION OF TOILETS
A key event was the completion of the toilet construction, which we started in January. The first official testing took place on 5 March 2016. The children can finally use the toilet, until now they used to run behind the school to the rice fields. Due to seasonal water shortages in the Petiwung area, running water at school is often the children’s only chance for sanitation.
Toilets and water supply: IDR 22 000 000, approx. 40 000 CZK.
If you like what School in Paradise is doing and would like to support us, you can HERE
Statutes for the School in Paradise are available for download Statutes Shool in Paradise.
The 2017 Annual Report can be viewed here VS – Škola v ráji 2017 (1)