In two Jakarta neighborhoods, Community Centers have for some years offered welcoming and safe spaces for refugees and asylum seekers to meet and work together to improve their daily lives – despite the many challenges they and their families and neighbors face. The Centers offer all who are interested a chance to access information, to socialize and to join activities that support health, protection and wellbeing. “We like to meet with each other here, and it makes us happy [to have this space] because we live faraway from each other,” said 7-year-old Aden and her friend, 6-year-old Abshar.
The girls and their other friends, Muhamad and Abdirahman, who are from Somalia, had just finished their Indonesian language class at the Community Center in a south Jakarta neighborhood, and they stayed on to play when they noticed a ripe starfruit on the tree in the Center’s front yard. They had worked together to climb the wall near the tree to try to get the fruit when they were spotted by a CWS staff member, who asked them climb back down to safety, after which she talked to the kids about how dangerous their act had been … and that they could really hurt themselves.
A bit chastened, the children then linked hands and made a pact to be more careful in the future … while the Education Officer collected the starfruit for them.
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