At the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre we are proud to be presenting positive stories about refugees. Below is a selection of stories that have appeared in newspapers and television around the world. 

 
 

BBC World

 The CRLC students experiencing how to be a journalist at the BBC office in Jakarta.

The CRLC students experiencing how to be a journalist at the BBC office in Jakarta.

Indonesia has not signed the UN Convention on Refugees, meaning asylum seekers are not able to work or get an education in the country.

 

Radio National ABC - The Refugee School Of Hope 

 Cathy Peters from ABC Radio National with teachers from the CRLC.

Cathy Peters from ABC Radio National with teachers from the CRLC.

Some have been in the queue ten years. But through the school they've found hope. They're up early to go to class and prepare lessons. They have skills to share. Parents make lunches and are proud they're able to provide an education for their children. 

 

Sydney Morning Herald -  Frontiers of Hope | Indonesia to Australia

Khadim Dai at the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre that he co-founded

Khadim Dai has met Oscar-winning filmmakers and Indonesian politicians. He was a panellist on the SBS show Insight and is being recruited by the art school at Monash University in Melbourne, where lecturers have described him as the most talented young artist they have seen in recent memory, and where a scholarship has been created to try to bring him to Melbourne.

 

Sydney Morning Herald - Learning Centre Helps Asylum Seekers Cope 

 CRLC students during school time.

CRLC students during school time.

Just two months ago, these children were bored and aimless, dislocated from their home countries and stuck in temporary accommodation as their school years ebbed.

 

Radio Australia - How Learning Is a Lifeline For Refugee Children

 My name is Arzoo, I am 12 years old from Afghanistan but I was born in Pakistan.

My name is Arzoo, I am 12 years old from Afghanistan but I was born in Pakistan.

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.

 

Inside Indonesia - Resisting Limbo

 Children at Play at the CRLC 

Children at Play at the CRLC 

Even before the school comes into view, I hear the shrieks of delight of children playing. As I enter the gates I see parents chatting with one another while maintaining a watchful eye on their little ones. Teachers brainstorm about lesson plans for the next day, and talk excitedly about their upcoming soccer game on the weekend. Administrators sit outside their humid office looking frayed at the end of another day. These are the familiar sights and sounds of a school anywhere in the world.

 

The Conversation - Refugee-run school in Indonesia a model for governments to emulate  

 Students in a school run by refugees in Indonesia learn maths, English, art and science

Students in a school run by refugees in Indonesia learn maths, English, art and science

A school set up by asylum seekers and refugees in the West Java town Cisarua, Indonesia, is an initiative that Australian and Indonesian governments should model and support. 

In August 2014, refugees from Afghanistan in transit in Indonesia established the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre (CRLC) to provide education for their children.

 

Mamamia - The refugee run school transforming young people’s lives

 The youngest student at the CRLC 

The youngest student at the CRLC 

"My country destroyed my childhood. It failed to shelter me. Sometimes I wish that I would wake up in a world where there is no Taliban, no war, and no children crying."

In the first few months of her stay in Indonesia, Farahnaz faced a lot of difficulties. She told me about how she was “crying for two months” because she missed everything and nothing was familiar to her anymore. “There was no school, we didn’t know anyone. Time went by very slowly.” But when the Centre was opened, she “immediately joined,” and came to “love the feeling of learning and teaching.”

 

ABC News - Exiled by Taliban, karate black belt trains asylum seeker children

 Arzo with her Karate teacher in Cisarua 

Arzo with her Karate teacher in Cisarua 

"When they are coming to sports they are very relaxed, that's why karate is good for us." 

 

The Global Observatory - Refugee Transit in Indonesia: The Critical Importance of Community

 Refugee children play during a break at the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. Cisarua, Indonesia. 

Refugee children play during a break at the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. Cisarua, Indonesia. 

The community was formed around a refugee-run school that opened in August 2014 and now has 200 students and 17 volunteer staff. The school has provided the community a focal point and shared project in which all are heavily involved. Many other activities have grown from this, including men’s, women’s and mixed soccer teams, art exhibitions, a karate club, and at least two more independent schools. The community has a strong social media presence and manages its own public representation, focusing on a narrative of refugee capacity rather than need. The UNHCR have visited the school, as have journalists, NGOs, and researchers.