CWS ensures protection, provides access to basic services including health, education and psychosocial support and leads life skills development and vocational training courses for vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in the greater Jakarta area. Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and refugees are not allowed to work, making support even more critical. CWS staff ensure that asylum seekers and refugees receive basic services in health, education, protection, including safety/security monitoring and psychosocial support. CWS staff also provide a monthly allowance for those unable to afford food and accommodation for themselves and their families.
Support for unaccompanied minors is a key part of CWS work in Jakarta. Many minors are referred to CWS after their release from immigration detention. They are initially detained by the Department of Immigration for violating immigration laws, but released once authorities establish that they are minors traveling without family and that there is an alternative to detention for them, namely a shelter. CWS is therefore filling a critical gap in the protection of refugee minors in Indonesia. The three CWS shelters are among the very few alternatives to detention for minors. There still remains an unmet need for additional shelter space; as of June 2015, 512 minors were still held in immigration detention. Upon release they are placed under the supervision of guardians in one of three shelters in Jakarta operated by CWS. There, the CWS team members devote significant time and energy to ensuring their protection and psychosocial well-being, which can be a daunting task with up to 40 adolescent males in each shelter community.
Leslie Wilson | March 8, 2017
Recently, I spent a few energizing hours with two dozen teenage girls who, after an astoundingly circuitous journey from East Africa to Indonesia, have found themselves in the care and protection of Church World Service. The girls each left home on their own in search of safety and asylum, and none of them has relatives […]
CWS Indonesia | January 25, 2017
Toward the end of December 2016 a group of 14 unaccompanied asylum-seeking boys from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Somalia gathered in a large kitchen in south Jakarta for an intensive, three-day baking course. This was a welcome break from the long, routine days and weeks the boys spend in their CWS-supported group homes. Since […]
CWS Indonesia | December 28, 2016
Muhammad* and his bicycle are a familiar sight around the CWS-UNHCR Refugee Center in Jakarta. Twice a week for the last two years the 56-year old has been attending English and computer classes at the Center – though most of his classmates are not older than 20. To save what little money he has, Muhammad […]
CWS Indonesia | December 1, 2016
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 […]
CWS Indonesia | November 16, 2016
The entire course of Fahal’s life changed in an afternoon. He was playing football with friends at home in Somalia when a terrorist group – he still doesn’t know exactly who they were – attacked his village. His father and two brothers were killed and his mother was abducted. His uncle decided that Fahal must […]
CWS Indonesia | November 3, 2016
Sixteen-year-old Maysam (not his real name) is among the 35 teenage boys living in a new CWS-supported group home for unaccompanied and separated refugee children in Jakarta. Originally from a small town in Ghazni Province in southeastern Afghanistan, Maysam fled his home after a Taliban-affiliated group abducted his father, who was a shopkeeper. “We had […]
CWS Indonesia | October 28, 2016
The CWS Protecting Urban Refugees through Empowerment – or PURE – program in Jakarta is expanding! In partnership with the UNHCR, the Department of State Bureau on Population, Refugees and Migration and the Australian government, we are opening new group homes for unaccompanied or separated refugee children. Below, three CWS staff members reflect on the […]
CWS Indonesia | October 12, 2016
Recently, refugees and asylum seekers who participate in the UNHCR-funded PURE initiative gathered at their community center in Jakarta for their much-anticipated annual election of 18 Refugee Representatives. On September 1st eight women and eight men were elected by their peers to play an important role in voicing the aspirations and concerns, and presenting the […]
CWS Indonesia | September 17, 2016
These young people left their homes – often forced to flee persecution or harm – and are alone in Indonesia without their families. We are preparing to open two new group homes, which will provide safety and security for an additional 80 boys.
CWS Indonesia | April 30, 2016
To support educational activities for young refugees living in CWS-managed group homes in Jakarta, PURE team members arranged for eight boys join a one-day graphic design workshop to explore their graphic design interest and talents. Dampu Design hosted the boys at no cost to CWS, and they all learned graphic design basics, including packaging design […]
CWS Indonesia | March 28, 2016
Twenty-seven women refugees and several members of the CWS PURE team celebrated International Women’s Day in March at the CWS-managed PURE Refugee Center. After a movie screening the group discussed issues and challenges that women refugees face in Indonesia, as well as their hopes for the future. Farhiya, a 25-year-old refugee from Somalia, said that […]