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October 23, 2014

A tiger and his friends

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Last Sunday our school hosted a fundraiser event for the Afghan Hazara refugees who are temporarily living in Bogor, outside of Jakarta.

It was an intense experience, speaking with the refugees and listening to their story. They told us of the persecutions they have endured, that made them leave their home country. Indonesia opened the border for them and make sure they get the necessities and have a place to stay while waiting for actions by the UN as to where to go next.

In the refugee center, they have opened a Learning Center for the children, and it was for this cause the fundraiser was held. The Learning Center is in need of many things, such as books, pens and paper. The Hazara children and their families came from Bogor to participate in the event and we all had a beautiful day together. It was wonderful to see the children performing a traditional dance and afterwards running around playing football and all sorts of games.

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I took a few pictures with my iPhone. The children performed the dance beautifully, with such joy and emotion, it was wonderful to watch.

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Realizing how many of the basic things the children lack in the Learning Center, we rushed home, encouraged by our girls, to collect around 100 books that our girls have grown too big for. As we handed over the books, they asked to take our photo together with two representatives from the refugees and we also got an iPhone picture for ourselves (top photo).

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This little tiger hunted us all over the football field! 🙂 Especially my husband was his favorite prey. The boy’s father and I stood watching, laughing together, and it really hit me how we didn’t even need to speak the same language to share this moment. Laughter is universal.

After my husband was caught by the tiger, he managed to take a picture of our youngest daughter with the little tiger.

It was an emotional day: I was impressed by our girls and their friends, who worked hard all day to entertain students and refugee children with various games, such as throwing water balloons and face painting. Meeting the refugees and listening to their story was unforgettable, I wished, and still wish, there was more we could do for them. My heart goes out to all who have to flee their home country to live in uncertainty like the Hazaras.

I hope the little tiger and his family and friends will soon find a place to call home, where they can start to rebuild their lives in safety and with hope for the future.

– Lene


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