Same Skies presents: 

Far away from home: Art made by Refugee Youth in Indonesia.

Refugee Youth thinking of home and contemplating their journey. 

In February 2016, there were 13,829 people registered with UNHCR Indonesia, including 7,560 asylum seekers and 6,269 refugees. It is likely that there are more asylum seekers living in the community unknown to UNHCR. There are eleven immigration detention centers across Indonesia. Conditions remain concerning with overcrowding and limited access to legal advice. Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and there is no domestic law that protects the rights of refugees. They often live in legal limbo, having thus far failed in their bid for permanent asylum. Within this context, refugees face a specific set of vulnerabilities. Moreover, refugees have to learn how to navigate the unfamiliar environment and need to make a continuous effort to integrate within the host community.

In the year 2014, Same Skies started its activities in Indonesia with the aim to empower refugee communities to overcome the vulnerabilities that they are facing and give them back the right to leadership, confidence and pride. In order to do so, we focused on people’s skills, knowledge and motivation and always encourage them to use creativity in order to adapt to changing circumstances. In 2016, we started assisting Refugee Learning Center. It is an educational space entirely set-up and managed by the refugee community. They aim to facilitate access to education for their own children. “Here, everyone is learning, not just the children but all of us” they say.

World Refugee Day provided inspiration to girls and boys at the learning centre to use their talent in drawing and painting in order to express their feelings about the traumatic transition from their homes to West Java, Indonesia.

All the paintings were created through the volunteers' own initiative and donated to Same Skies for fundraising. 22 powerful artworks depicting images of war and displacement: people threatened by guns, homelessness and imprisonment, but also hope, desire for peace, safety and freedom - some of the themes that the young artists have chosen to draw.

 

Many things have been said about the benefits of creating art for the mental health of young people. Therefore, we are happy that this project perfectly reflects Same Skies’ aim to strengthen the mental wellbeing of the refugee communities whom we support. Indeed, through these paintings refugee youth are telling their own stories to the world and giving the viewers an opportunity to understand what they are facing.

Furthermore, this exhibition also shows that effective Community Empowerment Centres naturally build support systems that attract further resources.

 

We aim to reach as many people as we can to raise awareness and funds. Through this exhibition we want to create a dynamic movement of people who are truly empathetic, and compassionate for the refugees at the learning centre.

 

“Your contributions enable the learning centre to take more refugee children and provide education for them. Your every single help and donation make our school sustainable”. ..says the Principal and Coordinator of the exhibition Mr. Liaquat Changezi.

 

For a minimum donation of AUD50, we will send you your favourite painting. Just donate through the "Donate - Spenden" button on top and send us an email to connect@sameskies.org. Thank you!

 

Please click here to visit Refugee Learning Center’s Facebook Page and see their current activities!