Too often when we discuss asylum seeker and refugee policies, the voices of the people in question, the people asking for our protection are not heard. With that in mind, I have a guest post from a group of people currently waiting for resettlement in Indonesia who are trying to forge a meaningful life for themselves and they need your help:
The Refugee Learning Nest (the Nest) was established in March 2015 by seven members of the refugee community in Indonesia and with the support of “Same Skies”. Volunteers from the community manage and run all the activities. We provide children’s education, a tailoring workshop and literacy projects for women who have previously lacked opportunities, sports (Football & Taekwondo) and health and hygiene information sessions for the refugee community.
Our community project is run by a group of more than 20 refugees and asylum seekers who are working as volunteers. We are from different backgrounds and countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. Between our team, some of us already have their refugee status through UNHCR and some of us are still asylum seekers waiting for the long process. Waiting for refugee status in Indonesia is a challenge for all the families, thus our activities are a great opportunity for all the refugees, especially for the children, to improve their skills. Since we started the Nest we are not feeling tension or stress! We want to keep volunteering and assisting our refugee community. We are proud of our tasks, which we are doing just according to the humanity! Every community member can be a volunteer and become part of our team. There is a clear and specific regulation for joining our team, but backgrounds are not any limitation.
“My name is Mahboob Jafari and I would like to share my life story. My story starts from 2012: when the Taliban attacked our house they killed my uncle, my mum was injured and my father was held captive by the Taliban. We were staying with our grandmother and grandfather. We did not have any freedom. We had to leave Afghanistan and come to Indonesia. When we arrived in Indonesia we couldn’t do anything because we did not know about anything or any place to go. We also did not know how to speak Bahasa (Indonesiam language). As asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia, we don’t have permission to work here. Every day was very hard and boring for us because we had nothing to do, until we joined The Nest. Becoming a volunteer with the Nest was a good chance for us in many ways. This opportunity has changed our lives and now the days are so much better than before and very enjoyable. My family and I have been in Indonesia for six months now and we are very pleased to be a volunteer in The Nest.”
We started the Nest with modest facilities, we try our best to bring smiles on the refugee children’s faces and keep the project sustainable. There is no formal education system for the refugee community in Indonesia and continuation of the project depends on your support. We encourage the community to be involved and support this community-based project. We published our website to raise funds to keep our project sustainable and lasting. We really need your donations and support to bring happiness to the children’s faces and give them value. We only have 3 weeks left to raise $4425 to pay for the ongoing costs of the Nest for the next 6 months. To help us, please visit:
We appreciate your generous donations and support in advanced.