In September 2017, a small home in Tebet, South Jakarta was converted into a learning centre by two enterprising Afghani refugees, Mohammad Baqir Bayani and Kalsoom Jaffari. Upon his arrival in Indonesia, Baqir started living and teaching at a refugee learning centre in Bogor (a small town 2 hours away from Jakarta). He soon recognised the urgent need for basic education and lack of positive activities for refugees, by refugees in Indonesia. Determined to make a positive difference in his community he teamed up with Kalsoom to set up HELP for Refugees Learning centre offering informal education, basic health services and other learning opportunities to refugees in Jakarta.
Today, HELP has become more than a learning center. It is a vibrant and diverse community which offers a feeling of belonging and a greater sense of purpose to people from more than 12 different nationalities who are living with great uncertainty. We are a community of over 200 incredible people and are proud to be one of the most diverse refugee-led organisations in Indonesia.
The centre is run by a small and committed team of volunteers from the refugee community led by Mohammad Baqir Bayani, Program Director. They know the realities and experiences of living a life of uncertainty, meaning they are able to effectively meet the need of our students and the larger refugee community.
HELP for Refugees aims to bring the refugee and Indonesian communities in Jakarta closer together and to raise awareness and understanding of different cultures. Indonesians are involved in every aspect of our work - as volunteers, teachers, board members and donors. Our classes are provided by a multi-cultural team of volunteer teachers of different ages and nationalities.
Led by refugees, HELP for Refugees is supported by an Indonesian Board of Trustees and a Board of Advisers under Yayasan HELP Indonesia, a charity registered and approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Indonesia.
Refugees in Indonesia
Indonesia has around 13,800 refugees and asylum seekers living in the country. Approximately 6,000 are registered in Jakarta with UNHCR. Under Indonesian law, asylum seekers and refugees are not allowed to work, they do not have access to social support from the Indonesian Government and they are not accepted by the majority of schools and universities. Many refugees are deprived of a sense of purpose and dignity which can be provided by work and study.
Many in the community feel trapped - unable to return to their country, limited prospects of being resettled elsewhere and no prospect of settling lawfully in Indonesia.
Lack of education is one of the biggest problems individuals and families face. Children’s education is often put on hold for many years, young people are unable to continue their studies and adults struggle to find places to learn English and other knowledge or skills to prepare for their final place of resettlement.
WHAT WE DO
We are proud to be an organisation that is founded and led by refugees. We also work closely with individuals and organisations in Indonesia. Our program is founded on the following key principles:
> We embrace diversity: Our students and volunteers come from over 12 countries worldwide and range from age 4 to 60 years old. We ensure that our teachers, management team and curriculum specifically promote the values of tolerance, friendship and understanding.
> We develop community leaders: Refugees have the right and the potential to make decisions on the services available to them. By volunteering with HELP (e.g. as teachers or managers) refugees in our communities are gaining confidence to develop their leadership skills and, in turn, become role models to others.
> We encourage resilience and self-empowerment: We believe that education and skills development are some of the most effective tools available for self-empowerment. Refugees have the potential to improve their own lives given the right opportunities and support. Volunteering with HELP enables individuals to share their knowledge and skills with their community.
Volunteers are the lifeblood in all that we do and we couldn’t run our program without them.
We offer many flexible volunteering opportunities in:
Teaching English, Art and Craft, Music, Life Skills etc.
Teacher training or vocational training
Fundraising, media and communication
Management and Organisational strengthening (accounting, IT support, organisational capacity building).
To register your interest, please fill our volunteer application form here
For any questions regarding volunteering at HELP, reach us out at
< Donate >
HELP for refugees has been a place of learning and support for over 150 refugees for two years. We need support to ensure HELP is still able to open its doors for our refugee community in 2020. Our building rent for the next 12 months is due in August. While we know times are tough for everyone, any support from you will go a long way. Donations can be made directly to our local bank account provided below.
Bank name: Bank Mandiri
Branch: Kemang Plaza
Account number: 1260006293202
Account name: Shweta Kawatra Dakin
Swift Code: BMRIIDJA
No donation is too small. 100% of your donation will go towards ensuring we can continue our services in the future and we can still support our community in this unfortunate time.
Our fundraising goal for house rent is IDR 60 million (3955.17 USD).
For any questions, please feel free to reach us at :