The philosophy that guides Roshan Learning Center is based on extensive empirical evidence related to effective practices in child development and education as well as contemporary qualitative research specific to refugee experiences in Jakarta, Indonesia. On-the-ground understanding of the complex intercultural and economic dynamics between Indonesians, refugees, and expats complements research-based decisions as the directors, refugee managers and teachers, Indonesian hosts, and expat volunteers work together to make good decisions to keep the learning center functioning smoothly and joyfully for participants and volunteers alike.
In this-ever changing landscape of needs that arise from the unique experiences of our refugee participants, our methods are constantly evolving as we ourselves learn and grow. However, we strive to maintain a timeless and simple mission and set of guiding principles as we invest in the lives of refugees.
Our mission is to open doors in the future by doing a few simple things in the present:
- To provide learning experiences for children ages 3-18 in English, Bahasa Indonesia and Farsi.
- To empower adult refugees to develop language, professional and soft skills.
- To build a sense of community among refugees in which all members respect, value, and encourage each other.
Empowering students does not happen by teaching literacy and math skills alone. It comes from teaching children and youth how to be good people who will make the world a better place. At Roshan Learning Center, we serve refugee children and instill our community’s values in each and every child. To open DOORS in the future, we aim to:
Do good for others (to remind ourselves that we are not victims)
Open our minds (to new ideas and people)
Own responsibility (for our lives, learning, environment, and mistakes)
Reach for the stars (to stay hopeful and set high but achievable expectations)
Support our friends (to build community, trust, and trustworthiness)
Based on empirical evidence and decades of experience in the fields of child development, parenting education, country development, sustainable project development, women’s empowerment, and human rights, the following principles provide our foundation:
- Education is a basic human right that every person deserves, regardless of age, gender, nationality or refugee status, religion, ethnicity, or economic background.
- Children, youth, and adults, especially those who have experienced trauma, develop and learn best in environments that are predictable and physically and emotionally safe.
- Childhood is a time when learning occurs at especially rapid rates and deprivation has significant long-term negative consequences; learning and development cannot be deferred until families resettle in a third country.
- Children and youth have the right to developmentally appropriate support from parents, teachers, and other caregivers to develop in all important domains: physical, social, emotional, and cognitive domains, as well as developing positive approaches to learning.
- Developing students’ character traits such as perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control is as important to later success as fostering academic achievement.
- Vulnerable adults have the right to protection and support, both emotional and logistical, in order to regain a sense of self-efficacy, control, and well-being. Such support will in turn foster the well-being of children under their care, but parents and other adults are deserving of care and support in their own right.
- Having regular, productive, and prosocial experiences in the context of a caring community reduces depression, anxiety, criminal behavior, domestic violence, physical illness, loneliness, incarceration, addiction, and substance abuse in the present and increases the likelihood for employment, home ownership, stable marriages, and psychological well-being in the future.
- Refugees are resilient, resourceful, and competent individuals with many gifts to offer their communities and countries; developing and using these gifts and talents improves individuals’ well-being, community well-being, and national economies.
- High-quality learning experiences for those in poverty are not inexpensive, but they are worth it.