World Refugee Day through the Eyes of a Child

At Roshan Learning Center, we are thrilled to have global attention on refugees on World Refugee Day.  Here, every day is refugee day for staff and students. For Roshan students such as Efran, whose favorite superhero is Superman, or Zayna who is goal is to be a good big sister, it doesn’t matter if it is June 20 or January 20.  For them, and the more than 11 million children globally who are refugees, what matters is ... Read More

Roshan a Winner in Robotics Competition

A robot somewhat in the shape of a bulldozer but not bigger than the size of man’s palm whirred around a circle of plastic balls on a flat white table. The robot scooped and shoved a majority of balls toward one edge of the table and a cheer went up from the three team members, “Yeah!” This is the second annual robotics challenge organized by the Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) robotics club, called JIS NXT GEN. Kevin ... Read More

Things Not “Going Nicely” for the World’s Tired and Poor Not Clear How Trump Refugee Ban Would Enhance Already Effective Vetting

“I want my chips,” Miriam scowled. “You can’t have them right now on the reading mat,” I explained, “you have to wait 10 minutes until lunch time.  Then we will all eat together in the cafeteria.”  “What’s a cafeteria?” she asked. Miriam is 7.  Her older brother is 9, already cool and excited to have the chance to play soccer with other boys.  Her older sister, 11, is inquisitive, a quick learner, and friendly with a dash ... Read More

No Apple Pie but Plenty of Love

Sometimes it seems like I never learn that there are only 12 months in a year. Every year around this time I realize that Christmas is just around the corner and I’m completely unprepared, as if it’s a surprise that November is here again. All of a sudden there is scrambling to decide on holiday plans and work out logistics, to make good on vague gift ideas, to find extra pockets of time and money for end of year concerts, ... Read More

The U.S. Election: Should We Fear Immigrants?

The recent election results in the United States have provoked great anxiety among many in the United States and around the world. Many are afraid and uncertain about a future under a president who has made racist, xenophobic, and sexist remarks.  Yet Mr. Trump’s supporters have also been afraid.  Mr. Trump ran largely on an anti-immigrant platform. The fact that he won reveals in part a fear of immigrants, change, and an ... Read More

Alone in the Middle of Everyone

The first time I met Saleha and Mojgan, I was enchanted and troubled. It is rare to meet young Afghan women traveling alone, without a male protector as is the custom in the Afghan culture. These two girls, ages 21 and 16 respectively, spoke some English, although it was hard to gauge how much because they were too shy to say much to me. Although now sharing the tiny cramped room of their brother, already a student at ... Read More

RLC Honored to Be Recognized On World Refugee Day 2016

On June 20, World Refugee Day, staff and students at Roshan Learning Center were honored to receive an Award of Recognition from UNHCR at a moving ceremony and the lively celebrations that followed. We are delighted to be in the good company of other refugee-service providers in Indonesia being recognized: Dompet Dhuafa, KomnasHAM, Palang Merah Indonesia, and SUAKA. It's our privilege to work with asylum seekers and ... Read More

Indonesia Needs to Be Part of the Refugee Conversation

Musa*, with his gap-toothed grin and hand-me-down faded blue Oakland Zoo Camp t-shirt, doesn’t care one whit about a bunch of adults getting together to talk about “the causes of international flows of people and their complex inter-relations with development, armed conflict and environmental changes.” Musa only wants to know when he is going to be picked as goose in a lively game of duck-duck-goose. Meanwhile, government ... Read More

“I Can’t Believe You Feel Lucky”

One of my dearest childhood friends, Kevin, was diagnosed on October 23 with stage IV glioblastoma: brain cancer. This is a man who got a PhD from Duke University and became faculty at Cornell, Princeton, and the University of Pittsburgh. But more importantly to me, this is the almost-brother with whom I played at the beach every Sunday, walked dogs, pulled Christmas crackers, and goaded into dancing with my father in a ... Read More

How to Respond When the Lights Go Out in Paris

A woman hung outside the third story window of Bataclan Theater, one of the targets of this weekend’s horror show in Paris.  At the exit door on the ground floor below her, people fled, stepping over debris and the injured.  People screamed and cried as they ran.  One man dragged an injured person up the dark street to safety.  The woman continued hanging outside the window. It is hard not to watch video footage of the ... Read More