What a Coin is Worth

Mahmud* was counting his hard-earned gold-covered coins at a toy booth at "Roshan Market," a makeshift flea market that our teachers created for primary students. He saw a flashy toy he wanted to purchase with those coins. At another booth, three girls were competing to get the one and only Barbie doll available at the market. As the term’s end approaches, the level of activity and excitement in our community heightens. Our ... 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

Education is Worth Fighting For, for Indonesians and Refugees

On a sunny day in the attic of a red brick building, two teachers of Roshan Learning Center were ecstatically wrapping gifts of colorful school supplies. At two o’clock in the afternoon, with four crackers hung on a raffia string in the backyard, they were set to start the cracker eating competition for our primary students in light of Indonesian Independence Day. Seventy-one years ago, Indonesia fought for its ... Read More

One Sentence at a Time

Today is the first day of the new term at Roshan Learning Center. In spite of the flurry of activity required to get things ready--scrubbing floor mats, cleaning air conditioning vents, juggling complicated schedules in tightly packed spaces--the excitement of new beginnings is always worth the hard work. With all the focus on logistics, it can be hard to focus on the real reason behind all the work, which is to see student ... 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

Who is a Refugee?

Last year, more than 1 million people were forced to leave home due to conflict and make the perilous journey to seek refuge in a country not their own in Europe. The influx of refugees, mainly Syrian, to Greece, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere made daily headlines, yet the reality of their lives remained misunderstood. Many news outlets have used the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ interchangeably; however, the terms have ... Read More

As a Refugee A short documentary by Alice Giraudi

Alice Giraudi, a Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) high school student, made this 7-minute video about what it's like to be a refugee in Jakarta. Having moved many times from country to country while growing up, Alice talks about migration and the present refugee situation featuring one of the very first teenagers in our program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55CzleqJY8 ... Read More