Empowering Young Men for Transition from Group Home Living

CWS Indonesia | October 27, 2019

    10 boys joined a sewing course to help prepare independent living, and earnings, after they leave CWS group houses. Photo: CWS

    Another example of Bile’s creativity and handiwork. Photo: CWS

    As part of the Protecting Urban Refugees through Empowerment (PURE) project, CWS supports young refugees as they transition to adulthood and, as a result, leave group homes when they turn 18. PURE, as its full name implies, supports these youth to be empowered for independence with vocational and language training, plus info-sessions and skill-building sessions, to help them live independently outside of CWS group homes.

    Vocational training includes hair-cutting and sewing classes as well as classes to learn how to become interpreters for fellow refugees and asylum seekers who do not speak Indonesian, and teachers for their communities’ children and teens, too.

    A recent 13-session sewing course helped 10 boys preparing to leave their groups homes gain basics skills to make wallets, purses and shoulder bags. Bile, an 18-year-old from Somalia was very excited about the opportunity – one that he wouldn’t have access to in his country. “Boys don’t sew because it is seen as a ‘girly thing’ to do. But I really enjoy it!” He jokingly told CWS staff that his family would probably kick him out of the house if they found out he was sewing. However, Bile has discovered a passion that keeps him motivated and positive – while he is long gone, and likely never to return, even if his family would accept him, to the house he grew up. Bile says he has always loved fashion, and the sewing class inspired him to create. He and a few girls from the class trade fashion ideas. And Bile even has his own budding fashion line!

    In addition to vocational classes, Bile and others join information sessions where they learn about topics as diverse as healthy lifestyles, sexual and reproductive health and drug abuse/misuse … through to Indonesian culture … and refugee rights and Indonesian law.

    As group home residents leave for independent living, these info-sharing sessions help a lot. But just case they need extra help transitioning, all the boys are given a CWS hotline # to call and are encouraged to stay in contact with CWS staff, who make sure that these young men know that they can rely on CWS if needed.

    (For more information please contact mkoeniger@cwsglobal.org )

    One of Bile’s creations! Photo: CWS

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