HELP Refugee School

The Jakarta branch of the Cipayung Refugee Educational Center is HELP (Health, Education and Learning Program) for Refugees.  LDSC has helped the Cipayung school and now we will try and help the Jakarta school.  Baqir Mohammed is the young man heading up the Jakarta school – an amazing young man.  We were shocked when we learned he was only 19!  Most 19-year-old’s we know in America are not wired to accept the responsibility he has, but most 19 year-old’s have not seen what he’s seen and been through what Baqir has been through.

They finally secured a building (an old house, actually) and the first thing they needed was a few things to open up: carpet, table, fans (it gets hot in Jakarta homes with no air conditioning!), water cooler, mini-stove, etc.

Om the way to the market in a Bajai with Kalsoom


Baqir negotiating with the carpet seller.
Typical store where there’s stuff everywhere, but the owner knows exactly what’s where…
Rafi (Afghanistan) speaks amazingly good English, with barely an accent.  He passed the English test with a 38/40 – the highest of all the students.


Kalsoom registering people for class.  The girl in the middle was hiding her face because she is not supposed to have her picture taken.
Front door of the school
The school is on this quiet street just past the red and white flag on the left.
Kalsoom and DeeAnn in an empty school


Baqir getting a pot for the school.

So now the school is (sort of) set up and classes start Monday, September 4!  There are 140 students registered, which is double the amount expected.  In addition, we will be teaching at the school!!   DeeAnn and I will be teaching three classes each on Mondays – she will teach English and I will teach basic personal finance and accounting. There’s still a lot to do to get set up, but the school is off and running!


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