An Afghan Asylum Seeker Volunteers Her Time and Talent To Help Others

CWS Indonesia | December 1, 2016

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Zakera teaching refugees in the class for early child development (ECD) in the PURE refugee center. Photo: CWS

Zakera, who is one an asylum seekers whom CWS supports in Jakarta, studied mathematics at Kabul University and taught at a private school there. As a woman of Hazara ethnicity, Zakera was not completely surprised to receive death threats in her homeland because her Hazara people are greatly persecuted there. After another Hazara colleague and friend was shot and killed, Zakera and her husband decided to leave their homeland with the help of well-know people smugglers. Travelling through Malaysia, which they could enter without a visa, they arrived in Indonesia by an overland route two years ago. At first they had some savings to support themselves, but those soon ran out and they found themselves in rather dire straits. That’s when Zakera found out about opportunities to volunteer with the CWS PURE project. She applied and was accepted as a teacher for early child development (ECD) in the PURE refugee center. Now, the allowance Zakera receives for her much-appreciated work helps her and her husband cover their expenses. “Working as a teacher is a good thing,” Zakera says, “because I am able to contribute to improving other people’s lives. It makes me happy to do something positive, which helps me emotionally, too” she added.  About her hopes for the future, Zakera says, “I hope CWS and UNHCR can support more education activities for refugees, especially for children. And I hope I can continue my own education until I have a PhD – one day.”

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