In this season of giving, Christmas came early to Roshan Learning Center with both students and the program receiving gifts large and small to help spread joy ahead of the new year.

The program itself received its own gift thanks to a holiday match grant fundraiser that generated a whopping almost 150 percent of the target goal. The successful campaign ensures Roshan can focus on its resolution for 2018: To improve and increase access to education for refugees. To do this, we will welcome ten new secondary students next term; provide professional development and team building activities for our teachers; and open up to a new focus on the arts, encouraging students to express themselves through drawing, photography, painting and more.

For students, the gifts were more immediate, thanks to the highly anticipated Marketplace. The popular event allows preschool through middle schoolers a chance to “buy” clothes, toys, stationery, costumes, books and other treasures using points accumulated for good behavior during the academic term. All of the gently used items had been donated to Roshan through generous organizations including Jakarta International Christian Fellowship and the American Women’s Association. People and organizations have given to us generously of their treasures.

Students delighted in picking out their purchases. One student, Ali, excitedly browsed a crossword puzzle book while Benyamin fought off imaginary foes in a fantastic Thor costume complete with arm protectors and shield. Meanwhile, Farhanaz modeled a tiara.

Seventh-grader Aalem (not his real name), his hair slicked back with a little gel, tried on an Oakland Athletics ball cap, posing for his friends with a sardonic smile. Although he seemed very tempted to buy the hat, he didn’t. Instead, he bought a book called Owl Babies–for his little sister. That purchase revealed what he really treasured, and served as one small reminder that our real treasure too is our community–every person who is part of Roshan, whether near or far.

Thanks all for contributing to Roshan this holiday season and rewarding us with a bright future for 2018. We treasure you. We wish you an abundance of whatever you most treasure this season and all through the new year.