Since its inception, the life blood of Roshan has been the kindness and generosity of others willing to serve the refugee community in Indonesia. As the center grows and changes, we see the limitless capacity of the refugees to serve one another.

They also serve others, in keeping with the top value promoted at Roshan, “Do good for others.” A few months ago, a small group of students from my English class at Roshan, where I volunteer, served both the American Women’s Association (AWA) and local Indonesian children in Fatmawati Hospital by delivering gifts and good cheer.

The AWA does a monthly delivery of hygiene supplies and small gifts for children in the hospital, but this particular month they had difficulty finding the volunteers needed for delivery. A group of six teenage students from Roshan stepped in and made the most of the opportunity to give back to their host country.

It also felt personal for the students, bringing back memories of loved ones left behind in Afghanistan. “It reminds me of my little brother and sister while I was talking with them,” said Mustafa, who left his parents and younger siblings behind in his journey to Indonesia. The important connection between age groups is universal and healing, I realized.

The teenagers expressed the hesitation and concern you would expect when visiting sick children in a hospital using a language you don’t speak well. But they quickly overcame their hesitation and made the most of the opportunity to make children happy. Student Ali said, “It was so great to meet them and give them a gift and make them happy and [put a] smile on their faces. I hope they will get well soon. Also I hope I become rich and [I will] make hospitals for free.”

The Roshan students were kind, engaging and upbeat as they met over 50 children and their families. They also recognized the privilege of being the one to give instead of receive. “Today was a precious day for me. I really had an awesome feeling when I was giving the presents for kids. I felt proud of myself,” said John.

Being able to give is indeed a joy.

The Roshan students spread a heartfelt joy in the hospital that reminded me that no matter what people’s situation or what they have endured, at the heart of humanity, we find goodness.