Why on Earth are there Refugees in Indonesia?

There are thousands of expats who come to Jakarta each year to help the vulnerable, the down-trodden, the “least of these.” We come with hopes of lifting people out of poverty and improving health, education and livelihoods for the poor. But of course, we usually come to help the Indonesian poor, of which there are many. Indonesia’s growing economic strength belies a deep and broad population living in poverty. Therefore, ... Read More

Europe’s Migrant Crisis is a Misnomer

I have a little boy, a 6-year-old who likes Spiderman and watches that can go underwater. He has a room full of books and a playroom full of toys and lacks for nothing. We had the privilege this summer of going to Turkey on holiday, from where we took a boat to the island of Kos. Our boat was a large ferry, well constructed, lined with life jackets, and complete with drinks and popcorn for sale on board. When we got to Kos, ... Read More

One Teenager’s Journey for a Better Life Hussain's Story

Indonesia is home to more than 12,000 refugees, most hoping for asylum in Australia or the United States. Many of them live in Jakarta. Some asylum seekers live in overcrowded detention centers. The rest share small apartments scattered around the city. In these concrete apartment blocks, the refugees sit and wait, often with 15 people or more sharing a four room place. Most hope to go to Australia due to its proximity and ... Read More

World Refugee Day: June 20 Let's all work to bring a little more hope into the world.

BBC reports that the number of displaced people is at an all-time high. There are floods and earthquakes demolishing peoples' homes, but that's not the real problem, in spite of the deep suffering natural disasters cause. The real problems are human made. People are fleeing the persecution that follows the features of their face, as in the case of Hazara peoples in Afghanistan, or the beliefs they hold about the shape of a ... Read More

The Long Wait for Hope The life of a refugee in Jakarta, Indonesia: Part 2

The young woman looked at me, her brow furrowed, her head tilted. We continued walking around the back of the red brick building. “I don’t mean to be—well, maybe this is rude, but what do they do? How do they live?” she asked, clearly embarrassed by such an indiscreet question. The young woman in question was a visitor at the learning center, an expat considering volunteering to teach. I get this question all the time, both ... Read More