The Refugee School

Today we drove out to Cipayung to visit the Refugee School – unfortunately, it was a holiday, so there was no school, and hence, no students.  Plus, Kalsoom, the amazing founder of the school and the inspiration behind it, was in the hospital and unable to be there.  So we met with Ali Haider and Haider Naqvi, the principals of the school.  They are such an inspiration!  All the teachers are!

The bad news is they are down to 33 students (from 45); the good news is that they are down because several families have moved due to re-settlement to new countries!

Agus (our driver), Ali, Haider, DeeAnn and me, Nabir (computer teacher) and Racha (English teacher – he had a private English school in Pakistan.)

We were there to deliver soccer balls and some other school supplies and and to check on the desks previously purchased and the “security bars”.  They have been worried about school security (refugees are often taken advantage of because they have few rights in case of a problem), so they wanted some security bars built over the windows to keep the thieves at bay.  So LDSC helped them build the security bars over the windows.

Trying out the new desks – the bars are on the windows and they are great!
Ali Haider (Principal of the school) and his kids, Zoha (age 7) and Mujtaba (age 9).  Ali speaks 11 (count ’em, eleven!) languages, one of which is excellent English and he hopes to obtain his official refugee status in August.
Ali and Haider – both are refugees from Pakistan.  Ali has been here 1.5 years, Hiader 3.5.


New books and cases for the library!

DeeAnn with Zoha and Mujtaba
Neighbor girls hanging around the school
Magic words, indeed
Me with some neighbor boys

Getting up to the school is a little tricky – straight up a number of stairs on the side of a mountain.


This is the backyard of the school – notice the houses above it…and they are straight below it as well.

DeeAnn and Agus walking down multiple sets of stairs away from the school
A chicken coop on the way up to the school

While we were there, we found out they only had one working light bulb  – which is not a problem during the day, because they don’t turn on the lights; but at night…., So, when we left, we took Haider with us and bought some light bulbs:

As with all things electronic or electrical in Indonesia, it gets tested before you leave, because once you leave, there’s no bringing it back.  
Haider with his light bulbs!

We love working with the school – they are so appreciative and grateful.  Kalsoom is trying to open a school in Jakarta and is currently trying to raise the necessary funds to open the building, pay the rent, etc.  LDSC doesn’t cover rent, so once she has the funding, we will be there to help with supplies, etc.  We also hope to teach some adult English classes when the school is up and running.


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