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Welcome to the 2017/18 Annual Report for Cisarua Learning.

The only place to start the 2017-18 annual report is with the ‘shout it from the rooftops’ news that Cisarua Learning is now a registered Public Benevolent Institution in Australia, and as such all donations to Cisarua Learning are now tax deductible. The process took nearly two years and we very gratefully acknowledge the support of Nadine Clode at Justice Connect, and the remarkable Hannah Rose and Georgia Murphy-Haste from Sparke Helmore Lawyers. Without their support it would just not have been possible.

The CRLC continues to be our flagship program and inspiration. We support the school financially and also by connecting the school with interns, teacher training and with constant support and advice. Some highlights have been two visits by lecturers from UTS education department and a never-ending stream of interns and visitors who visit the centre to live and work with the CRLC teachers and students.  

The other incredible news from Indonesia is that there are now up to 15 informal refugee-led schools, representing approximately 1500 students and around 100 volunteer refugee teachers. Thousands of refugees are now engaged in the informal education system in Indonesia, and they are receiving all the corresponding educational, mental and social benefits. As the first refugee-led education centre in Indonesia we are very proud of our role in encouraging this refugee-led education revolution, and we have begun spreading our resources to support them.

The other major news from Indonesia is not so positive. The UNHCR has told the refugees and asylum seekers that their expected wait time in Indonesia is up to 25 years, and that many would never be resettled.  Using the rationale that there is next to no chance that they would be resettled, they have stopped assessing the refugee status of asylum seekers. This is a massive mental blow for the refugees in Indonesia and why we reaffirm our commitment to accompany them for as long as they need. It is also why we are expanding our online classes in 2018/19, and creating a complete education pathway to university for the refugees.

2017/18 marked the release of, The Staging Post. Shot by the ever-effervescent, 17 year old co-founder of the CRLC, Khadim Dai, and directed by Jolyon Hoff, the film tells the story of the CRLC. It has been phenomenally successful and was the 14th most successful documentary at the cinema in Australia in 2017 and, in 2018 so far, is the 5th biggest. We have held over 100 screenings of the film in cinemas, community halls, schools and universities. Each of these screenings has been an opportunity to grow our community and we have loved every minute of it. We continue to get numerous screening enquiries and Jolyon has started filming a second episode of the film.

The bigger the education revolution grows, the more convinced we become that refugees must be at the centre of the conversation around the current worldwide refugee-crisis crisis, and this will be a further focus for Cisarua Learning in 2018/19. We have developed a strategic document that outlines our plans revolving around three areas of work; continuing to support the CRLC and expand our support to other refugee-led initiatives, continuing to build community and personal connections between Australian and refugees, and raising our idea that ‘refugee can be a part of the solution’ in the global discussion about refugees.

Please enjoy our 2017/18 Annual Report. This journey has just begun. Thanks for joining us.

Yours Sincerely,

Jolyon Hoff and Muzafar Ali

Managing Directors, Cisarua Learning