Same Skies Project, Indonesia
Same Skies is a non-religious, politically neutral non-profit organisation founded under Swiss law in 2014. The creation of Same Skies was the result of a group of multi-skilled technical experts coming together. Sharing our experiences working with refugees in various international contexts led to the decision to try innovative approaches in refugee assistance and protection. It is our opinion that creativity and willingness to take risks are required to find new ways that enable genuine participation, while at the same time being more cost effective than traditional approaches.
While we appreciate that certain individuals/groups within the community can be marginalised and more vulnerable than others, we do not see vulnerability as a fixed condition that cannot be overcome. We honour resilience over vulnerability and therefore focus on a strength and rights-based approach.
Due to local work restrictions, a high degree of under-utilised skills and capacities can be found in refugee communities in Indonesia. Migration has uprooted qualified men and women from their social networks and they often struggle with the loss of status, purpose and self-respect. Through meaningful engagement they regain their self-confidence and overcome situational depression, while at the same time being of assistance to their own communities and reducing the need for external protection.
Refugee Learning Nest (the Nest) in Indonesia is our flagship project. It is a protection space, where people come together for informal education, the sharing of information and vocational skills, sports, and other social interactions. An ever-growing team of more than 20 volunteers from within the refugee community donates their time, knowledge and skills to plan, organise and implement activities for their own community members.
Close to forty refugee children attend the Nest on a regular basis for informal classes in English, Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Art facilitated by voluntary teachers. English lessons and a handicraft group for women are also provided. In addition, the team organises sporting activities and hosts a parents’ group. Health activities and opportunities for adult males will be added to the schedule shortly.
Same Skies provides remote support and oversight, and conducts regular training and monitoring field visits. It is our ideology not to permanently base international staff on the ground, and we try to avoid activities that involve high operational costs in order to enable sustainability and prevent dependency.
Follow the progress of the Nest on Facebook