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

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

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

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

The Journey to Asylum The life of a refugee in Jakarta, Indonesia: Part 1

Note: This post is a two-part series to provide a better understanding of the lives and context of refugees here in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is based on real stories of friends and members of the Roshan Learning Center, but certainly each person's journey is unique.   Forced to leave It’s not an easy decision to flee one’s homeland, but every day thousands are fleeing due to political, religious, or ethnic ... Read More