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Meeting the Urban Refugees




At the end of January to early February, RDI Urban Refugees team began visiting
several stakeholders to learn more about urban refugees in the Jakarta-Bogor area. The team consisted of Senior RDI researchers Dr. Akino Tahir and Dr. Nino
Viartasiwi, Junior RDI researcher Rizkita Mardea Nurdiandra, RDI intern Muhammad Anugrah Saputra, and Risye Dwiyani from Bandung Disaster Study Group (BDSG), an RDI partner organization.

On Thursday, 31st January 2019, the Urban Refugees team visited two learning
centers located in Bogor with the first being Cipayung Refugee Education Center
(CREC). The team was greeted by the head principles of CREC. CREC was opened
in 2016 with support from the refugee community and from the Jesuit Refugee
Service (JRS). The classes they teach vary from languages to arts, even extending
to guitar lessons. What is unique here is that the language classes taught not only formal Bahasa Indonesia, but also informal one. Classes lasts from 11AM-1PM for kids while in the evening there are classes provided for adults. Discussions with CREC were very fruitful and team learned a lot regarding the situation in the area from this visit. Afterwards the team visited the Hope Learning Center (HLC) in Cisarua to meet with representatives of the learning center. HLC itself was opened in 2017 with support from the Elite Open School, which is based in the United States. The resulting discussions were also positive as they shared their stories and experiences.

The next day, the team visited Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik (YSTC) and Church
World Service (CWS) to discuss about their role and plans in regards to refugees in Indonesia. Both NGOs have collaborative projects on unaccompanied children
refugees – refugee children under 18 years old who came without their parents or legal guardians. CWS works particularly on health issues of the refugees. The
organizations have built several shelters/community housings in Jakarta with a focus on strengthening the capacity building in refugee youth.

Overall, the visit conducted by the Urban Refugees team was fruitful as the team was able to introduce its research focus and reconnect with various stakeholders involved in the refugee issue in Indonesia. Future visits have been planned for the next step of the research.