Finding Peace in Diversity and Collaboration

Today, September 21, is the International Day of Peace. It’s a day set aside to collectively pause and reflect on what we are doing or can do to bring people together, a timely need in today’s fractious world. As the new director of Roshan Learning Center, it offers an opportunity for me to consider how we at Roshan promote peace. It doesn’t take long to see that Roshan Learning Center is truly a community-based ... Read More

Roshan Welcomes New Director Brandon Baughn

The entire Roshan community is pleased to extend our warmest welcome Brandon Baughn as the new Director of Roshan Learning Center. Prior to moving with his family to Jakarta in July 2017, he worked in educational development in Northern Pakistan for over 8 years. During his time in Pakistan, he worked as program manager for a nomadic education program, as well as conducting research in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on multilingual ... Read More

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

The Rule I Like the Most

I was born 26 years ago in a desolate mountain village in Afghanistan. I did not know that life would take me one day to live a limbo life in another part of the world called Indonesia. Fortunately, my life in Afghanistan prepared me well for the challenges ahead as a refugee in an often unwelcoming world. I was supposed to start primary school in 1995 in the village where I was born. It was exactly at this time that the ... Read More

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

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

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