What a successful and incredible year 2016 was...

What a successful and incredible year 2016 was for the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. It has been full of wonderful moments that the CRLC family had together and benefited from.

Highlights for 2016 include the teacher's training, Australian Independent School visits, spending time and learning from our interns and visitors, starting online classes, purchasing materials for another year, Eid and result programs, the fun time of excursions, the most emotional moments when our family members resettled to different countries and a lot more. All our friends accompanied us throughout our journey in 2016.

We will continue operating in the new year with new hopes and dreams. Thank you for being a part of this journey and we are very thankful for the incredible support we receive from you all.

On this special day beginning another 365 days we hope you all have a wonderful time with your friends and families. CRLC family wishes you the happiest new year with great achievements, prosperity, peace, love and laughter. #crlcfamily



Kirsten Singleton, online class teacher

Kirsten Singleton is one of our online teachers from Hobart. She visited CRLC recently and did some individual and group work activities with the students. She spent a week at the Learning Centre enjoying her time with the students and playing some fun games and doing various activities. She taught the students debating and gave them some skills to improve their English language conversation.

"Thank you to all the staff and online students at CRLC for making my visit to the school so wonderful. I was so impressed by the dedication of the staff to the centre and by the students of high level of commitment to gaining an education.

The centre plays a central role in the lives of everyone involved providing them purpose and direction while they wait resettlement. It was inspiring to be at CRLC and I look forward to returning next year and working with students again."



Online class since August 2016

Online class has been operating since August 2016. Gulistan Sultani one of our talented student shared about his Journey and time in limbo.

"Three and half and years ago I fled my country. I flew from Kabul to India. I was given a form to fill out my personal data and the purpose of travelling to India. It took me more than an hour and a half to get to India. I could not fill out the form in the plane. At the airport I was handed a new form to fill out again. For three hours I could not fill out the form, or discuss with anyone that I was unable to write. Finally an Indian helped me fill it in for me and I came out of the airport. I can never forget it.

I had never studied online before. When I joined this class at CRLC I could not understand my teachers when they were speaking because their accent was very difficult for me to understand. Now after attending the class for some months I can better understand their accent and English. I have lost my country of birth and my childhood friends but I have developed English skills within this period of my unknown journey. I can ask for water on the plane now or I can confirm my ticket when I am resettled.

I will try continue my education once I am resettled but If I could not get the chance I will work and get some money for my family. Football and volleyball are my favourite sports."


Christmas Card Fundraising Drive


Christmas Card Fundraising Drive

It’s been an amazing year. 

In 2016, over 100 children had access to education thanks to your support and generous donations. In 2017, we will to continue to support the CRLC and plan to uncover 'sleeping leaders’ in other refugee communities. To inspire them to start similar initiatives. 

You can help us by giving the gift of education this Christmas.

Go to our website at and click ‘support’ to order our donation Christmas Cards. They come in $10/$25/$50 and $100 amounts. How many of your family and friends do you know who would love to be a part of the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre journey?

We’ll mail the cards to you, so you can fill them in and give them to your family and friends on Christmas Day. Thanks from everyone at the CRLC and CL Inc.

While you are at our website please check out our 1st Annual Report. We are so proud of everyone involved. Thank you.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact
Muzafar or Jolyon at /


Our Annual Report


Our Annual Report

What an incredible 18 months it's been since we started Cisarua Learning Inc.! 

We are so proud to present our first Annual Report. Thank you to everyone, especially the teachers, managers, students and their parents from the CRLC. Their bravery and dedication, while living in the middle of a such an unknown and difficult journey, is an inspiration to us all. It’s an honour to represent you. Your hard work is inspiring people all around the world.

Please enjoy this update from Cisarua Learning Inc.

From deep in our hearts we thank everyone for their support.

Yours Sincerely

Jolyon Hoff and Muzafar


A letter to our supporters.


A letter to our supporters.

We recently received the letter below from a teacher, Miss Nasrin, who has now resettled in the USA.

It filled our hearts with warmth. The school is such a loving space and to be able to support the efforts of everyone there is one of the most beautiful experiences in our lives.

The letter is addressed to Jolyon and Muzafar, but we want to redirect it to all those who have supported us in so many ways over the past two years. 

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. 

Go well Miss Nasrin Sultani. It was a great pleasure to cross your path.

With love,

Jolyon and Muzafar


The letter.

Dear Jolyon and Muzafar,

Hope you are doing well and everything is going well.

As you may have been informed by Ms. Tahira that I have a travel to US and will settle there in the future.

I just wanted to say many thanks for your support and providing me this opportunity to be part of this wonderful CRLC family. This journey has been amazing and I am very happy that I could contribute in such amazing educational program that you have been providing for refugees and asylum seekers. It has been always wonderful to see that you all, bring smile to these children's faces and give them hope. It has been very meaningful for me. The CRLC is doing an awesome job and I wish it continues with more successes and achievements in the future.

I would like to thank you for everything you have done and doing for this Educational Center. I wish best of luck to everyone in the future. I would like to say good luck to all supporters, teachers, colleagues, students and everyone involved in this great program. 

I would also like to thank our awesome principal Ms. Tahera for her support and guidance all along this journey. 

With best wishes to everyone.

Yours Sincerely,

Nasrin Sultani


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Lisa as a volunteer

My name is Lisa. I am from Indonesia and currently doing my PhD in Amsterdam. I have been involved with Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre as a volunteer for the past two months. My passion has always been children's rights and refugees’ rights and the experiences living in Cisarua with refugee families has taught me extraordinary things, beyond anything any book would teach me.

At first, I was very nervous to enter the refugee community since I did not know much about the culture. But, everyone in CRLC and all the families here have opened their hands and hearts to me. Every morning, all CRLC teachers kiss me three times on my checks (left and right) and hug me tightly. “It is not in our tradition but we try to hug each other every morning to give psychological support and to start the day with positive energy," said one of the teachers. I love this optimistic gesture.

Not only the teachers, but the students are also wonderful too. They are very brave to voice their opinions, to ask many questions, and even to argue if they do not agree with what I said. In Science class, the students are very creative doing research utilising information from books and the internet. They are very excited to conduct experiments by observing nature around their residential place.

When I was teaching general knowledge about Indonesia and some bahasa, I was impressed to find that the children learn very fast. Wazma, an eight year old girl can count 1-100 in Bahasa, Indonesia within a day. Her mother said she writes all the numbers on a piece of paper and stick it on the wall of her room while she is mumbling trying to remember it the whole day!

This gives me a warm feeling inside my heart. In fact, many children often help their parents to learn English and Bahasa Indonesia after school.

Day by day, I get more and more inspired while I am staying with families. I have learned how to cook naan and Hazaragi dishes, speak some Hazaragi language, practice traditional dance with the women, hear some poets, and learn about the braveness and struggles from their stories. For the children, families are the central of their life. For parents, the children are their reason to survive.

CRLC has provided a space of hope and smiles for them.
In Indonesia, my own country, the refugees have welcomed me to share their life. I hope that more and more Indonesian can experience what I have learnt and build mutual understanding between us. Thank you everyone for your love, trust, and wisdom that is crossing my path.

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Art exhibition

Tomorrow is the launch of the Who Are We Anyway? Art Exhibition. The exhibition captures the past, present and future of refugees and asylum seekers in transit in Indonesia. It shows the revival of broken identities, strength and hope through the development of the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. The exhibition will be launched by the Governor of South Australia at 5:30pm.

Please RSVP at ( The more RSVPs, the more wine and canapés they will order.

Friends in Adelaide, there are many stories of loss, pain, strength and hope for you to explore. We will also be Skyping live from the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. It will be a great opportunity for you to understand more about refugees in Cisarua and to ask questions about their experiences.

We are very excited to see you at the exhibition.


Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, Building, 55 North Tce University of South Australia City West Campus.



Arzoo and Omid's mother sharing feedback

The Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre held a community meeting this week with the teachers and parents to discuss how we can provide the best education for our kids, both at school and at home. After this meeting, we held our parent teacher interviews where the teachers provided feedback to the parents about the children’s progress.

Arzoo and Omid’s mother was one such parent at the interviews. Here is her feedback about the experience:

Arzoo and Omid’s teachers were very happy with their progress at school. Both Arzoo and Omid told me that they are good at their studies and that they understand what they are being taught at school. I have no words to express my feelings. It is important to have these community meetings and parent teacher interviews, so that we can also help our children at home.

When we first arrived in Indonesia, my children were not going to school as CRLC was full. We waited for a long time for enrolment and we were very worried about our children. Arzoo was disappointed during this waiting period and she always asked me “mother why did we come to Indonesia?” I had no answers for her questions. Now that she is studying, she never asks me these types of questions.

I have seen a lot of improvement in both Omid and Arzoo. Both of them have improved on their English speaking skills and confidence. I help with their studies every day for two hours in the evening. In the future, Omid wants to be an artist and Arzoo wants to become a scientist. I respect their choices and I want them to be the best people they can be. It can be very difficult living in Cisarua, but I suggest to everyone in this same situation to be hopeful during hard times and help their children with their education.

As a mother, I want nothing more than my children to be happy, be able to study and have a better future.



Arzoo shares her story

My name is Arzoo, I am 12 years old from Afghanistan but I was born in Pakistan. My family returned to Afghanistan when I was eight years old and I studied there for two years. Around eighteen months ago, my family came to Jakarta, Indonesia and it was a very hard time for me. I had no friends and I was anxious because I was missing my studies as I was not at school.

I was thinking to myself, are there schools that I can attend here in Indonesia? When my family moved to Bogor, we found out there was a school I could attend. My brother Omid and I were enlisted on the waiting list for 6 weeks. I used to see students from the window of my home, with smiles on their faces and bags on their backs walking to school. I wanted to be enrolled in this school as soon as possible!

Luckily, my brother and I did not have to wait too long and today I am student of Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. My teachers are kind, motivated and hard working. They teach me English and my favourite subjects are mathematics and science.

When I started school, I was unable to communicate with Australian visitors as I was not confident with my English. They brought us so many books for our library and I have read many of them which helped me improve my English skills. Now I can speak, write and read English well, I am very thankful to our supporters, and our teachers for providing good quality education.

I am also very thankful to my mum and my dad who help me with my studies. I want to be a scientist in the future and invent new things that will help my country, or become an artist so I can paint pictures which express the pain and feelings of those experiencing war, such as my people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Other than school, I love playing football or soccer as I know it is called in Australia! I play football once a week with my lovely teachers and after our games, I love eating Ashak, Hazaragi food which my mum makes for me and my brother.



I am a mother and a father

The refugees in Cisarua are from different countries and the CRLC family is lucky to have them. Each refugee has a different story and Sahel and his father's story is one of them. Sahel is studying in the Foundation Class. Let's hear the story from his father.

"We are living in Cisarua away from his mother and the rest of the family. My eyes are always towards Sahel. I am a mother and a father for him.

Everyday I drop him to the Learning Centre and wait till he finishes. Ourrefugee journey is very hard but Sahel gives me energy. The other day he got an award from his teacher and he was very happy and so was I. While waiting for Sahel I take books from the library and read.

We are like best friends. In the afternoon we go for walks. At night time we play wrestling and I let him win all the time. He takes my leg and counts till 3 and then he becomes very happy when he wins. This is how we spend our time and he slowly goes to sleep.

He asks a lot of questions and I always try to answer it. But he repeatedly asks me the same question - “When will our passport come so I can go and see mum?” I am ready to do everything for him to be happy and get education. My dream is to see Sahel as an educated person in the future."



Ahmad Basir Zaffari Tofan's story

I am Ahmad Basir Zaffari Tofan and I am 15 years old. I was born in Afghanistan in 2001. My life is passing like waves of an ocean. I feel like my life is a shipwreck destroyed by a bad thunder storm, its pieces departing in different sections.

My family was forced to flee my home Afghanistan. We migrated in Quetta, Pakistan when I was Eight years old. It was difficult at the beginning but I tried to adjust and develop a new sense of self. But as I was getting used to it, ethnic targeting ripened where we were living. Again with no way back to Afghanistan, my family fled to Indonesia.

My family and I are placed in darkness. We do not know what will happen to us. At the beggining, it was difficult for me as the youngest child of the family, as I did not have friends to play with. I was missing my friends in Pakistan. But afterawhile I found CRLC. I was very excited.

My name was put on the waiting list. After a year I got the opportunity to be a student again. Now I have a lot of friends and am enjoying holdings my books again. I am happy that I found the opportunity to not just study but also play football.

I am inspired by Abdul Ali Mazari. I hope to study politics and become a leader in the future.



A successful completeion

Year 2015 was full of achievements and experiences. We pushed our limits to achieve our goal for educating refugee children and women. Thanks to our selfless and dedicated team.

We are fully prepared to commence our new educational year. The syllabus, timetable and entire educational system is restructured based on our past two year's experience.

Our supporters and followers have given us the mandate to provide quality education to refugee children. At the eve of 2016, we again pledge our sincerest commitment for tirelessly working on educating these children.

We wish our students, teachers, management team, friends, parents, refugees, supporters and followers a really happy new year. May the new year bring you all peace, love, prosperity and success in your life. May this year bring happiness to refugees around the world.



Merry Christmas

CRLC family wish our supporters Merry Christmas and happy holidays.



Angus Hamilton experience at CRLC

The CRLC has many friends from Australia and elsewhere. This is Angus Hamilton talking about his experience at the CRLC.

"I first learnt about the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre through my mother, Lucy. She told me that she'd been talking to these incredible people over Facebook who had started up the learning centre for Hazaragi children stuck in Cisarua, but that they had very few resources and that they had many challenges to overcome to ensure the survival of the learning centre. Together my mother and I set about gathering as many books as we could to give to the school to help the children, and community, with their English skills, and to help provide the teachers with books to better enable them to teach the children.

Eventually, we worked out that the best way to get the books to the learning centre was to deliver them ourselves. With only books in our luggage, we flew to Jakarta, met Khadim and got our first experience of the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre.

The passion and determination that we witnessed from all involved was simply awe-inspiring, and drove us to continue to be involved in any way we could to support this amazing project. 
We returned over the Easter weekend this year with another delivery of books, seeing the new location of the centre, and neither of us could quite believe how the school had grown and evolved in such a short time, yet it had kept those elements that had made it so inspiring and endearing to begin with. The people involved, from the children to the adults within the community, had given them all something to do, something to get behind. You could see that all of them completely believed in what they were doing!! 
Over the course of this year, I have also been involved in running 'Q&A with a refugee' sessions, where we have skyped Khadim in, and gave people an opportunity to ask him almost anything they wanted to try and educate those within our community about what life can be like for refugees.

The CRLC inspired me to try to help make a difference, and to try and spark better dialogue within our community. It's brought me into contact with so many amazing people, and I in turn have fought to bring the stories of their lives to those here. I could not more thankful for being presented with an opportunity to be involved with this amazing project, and I have so much admiration and respect for all involved. The CRLC is truly an inspiration!"

Please donate us on



Ayut and Fatima's last day at CRLC

Today is an emotional day for our students and teachers, Ayut and Fatima will leave to resettle in Australia. Fatima: "When we escaped from Iraq my only friend was my sister Ayut, but since I joined CRLC I made many friends from different countries. My special friend is Zahra, from Afghanistan. After school she was teaching me Hazaragi and I was teaching her Arabic. I will miss her a lot."

Look after them well Australia they have so much to offer. To Fatima and Ayut thank you for all your hard work, we wish you the best of luck. Bon Voyage - safar bakhair!



Library - Sports - Art

Library – Sport – Art

Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre has more than 2,000 books for children and adults. Thanks for our Australian friends who donated these books. There are a lot of story books for very young up to grown up children. Moreover, there are books on science, general knowledge, maths, games, art and sports. Our students are encouraged to take these books on regular basis. They share their readings with the class mates.

We also have women soccer team. Every weekend, they play soccer. It’s great fun for them. They wait for game-day the whole week. They simply love it, because playing soccer, for many refugee women is a wonderful new experience in their lives.

The teachers use a lot of art activities for the students. They have produced some beautiful art pieces. Therefore we need a lot of art materials for our learning centre.

We are committed to continue these activities for our students, volunteer teachers and management team. Please support our Pozible campaign to continue these activities:



Fatima and her story

I am Fatema Karimi. I am 9 years old. I was born a day before Christmas!

When my family migrated to Indonesia, I had no friends. I was at home all the day. I was alone and looking outside from my house window. My family was worried about me and my future. However, they found a teacher to teach me English, but it was only one hour and too boring. It was also not interesting for me because I had no friends.

I do remember the day when I first heard about the school. My home wasclose to the school and my mother told me that I will also go school soon. I immediately started preparing myself and hoping to go there as soon as possible. On the first day, I made two friends. Now I have many friends and some of them are my best friends.

Since I came to the school, I feel really good. After school hours, sometime I go to my friends’ house and play with them. It was something I was missing since we fled from our country.

I remember, last year, I celebrated my birthday at school with my class fellows. We had a wonderful small party in our class when all the teachers and students sang birthday song for me and wished me. More than 30 students ate my small birthday cake! It was a very special day for me and I was very happy.

I get sad when some of my friends settled in another country but now I got used to it. I now know that refugees come and go in Indonesia. My new friends are Arzo and Mena.

Please don’t forget to support my lovely school through our Pozible campaign:



Sedeqa is a teacher and a sister

My name is Sedeqa – a teacher and a sister…

I still remember those dark days when we had to escape from our country; in search of a peaceful place to get education without any fear.

When we came to Indonesia; we had no hope, no activity, no plan, no idea on what our future holds and most importantly, no right to get education for many years to come as refugees.

In fact I got my hopes back when I heard about Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre and the refugees who established it. I could not wait to be a part of this learning centre. I wanted to be one of those amazing people who were already working hard and sharing their knowledge with the kids and the community.

On 01 November 2014, I joined the learning centre. This is an unforgettable day for me because it restored my lost hopes and enlightened gloomy soul. My four brothers and one sister also enrolled as students in the school.

I am a teacher now. I love my lovely students. I work really hard to prepare for the next day’s lessons. When I am teaching the kids, I forget that we are living a difficult life as refugees. 
Being a refugee, I never thought that I will ever be able to be a teacher, to meet different people and gain invaluable experience.

Despite all difficulties in life, Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre has given me and my family the courage to continue our challenging journey with hope and dignity. This is a reason for us to be happy and celebrate.

Please support this amazing school through our Pozible



Amir's Story

My name is Amir. I am 11 year and 8 months old. In August 2014 I joined CRLC and wrote this story.

"I write about the past when I had good days with my friends at school. I miss those days. Maybe it was written in our fate that we had to flee and come to Indonesia. I don’t know what should I call these days. I lost all my friends."

"When we were forced to come to Indonesia I had nothing to do. After two months, I could find an English class. It was good but it was just a language course. I went to searched for school. Even I went to Indonesian school but, I couldn’t continue because I did not understand . One day, someone informed me that refugees has opened a school somewhere for refugee kids. On that time I was so happy and I said “Thanks God”.

"I am a kid like other kids in the world. I want a world without any war and clash. I wish those people who fight and bleed should listen to our voice just for one time. They should know that we don’t want war we want peace and education. Going to school is our right. I know that my school has limited facilities, but this is a big blessing from God. I want success and healthy life for all of my school mates. Everyone can be successful in good situations but a strong person is the one who succeed in difficult time with limited resources."

Please support my school through our Pozible