On August 15, 2019, Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) welcomed 6 Afghan Refugees who have been given the opportunity to study through EPP (English Pathway Program) at UPH. The 6 refugees were two young men and four young women, aged about 15-23 years old. They have passed the test and will join the EPP, a year-long English Education, to equip them to enter and study at university.
The handover process for the six refugees was officially carried out by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) represented by Senior Protection Officer, Julia Zaykowski, to the Founder and Chairperson of the Pelita Harapan Education Foundation (YPPH), James T. Riady, at HOPE Building, UPH campus (Tangerang), on Thursday, August 15, 2019.
James Riady explained that this social program is a part of UPH Mission to reach the people of Indonesia, especially those who are in needs. The support was specifically intended for giving the opportunity to the refugees during their stay in Jakarta, waiting to be sent home to the native country.
“We try to help all communities that are in needs, both in hinterland and other communities, such as this refugee community,” said James at the welcoming ceremony
Some of the refugees has been living in Indonesia for three or four years, but they could not get the opportunity to work or study formally. Hopefully, the EPP can open a way to the refugees to continue their education to the university level and actualize their dreams. When they were asked about their dreams, each of them answered according to their own: a doctor, businessman, politician, and worker in educational field.
In addition to the academic support, UPH also provided the residence and the meals for them. They will stay in UPH Dormitory and each of them will be guided by mentors; that is, UPH students who will help them to adapt in new surroundings.
The Executive Director of UPH MYC Residence Life, Mr. Stephen Metcalfe, MA., stated that these refugees will not only get language education, but also have the opportunity to grow in various aspects, such as gaining self-confidence, broadening their horizons, and relating to many people from various backgrounds.
On this occasion, Julia Zaykowski expressed her gratitude for the collaborative initiation of UPH.
“UNHCR is very happy and appreciates UPH’s support for our labor in the field of education. This is very valuable and will be very useful for these six young men and will foster positive hope and encouragement for the refugee community,” She said.
Meanwhile, Dejan Micevski, The Senior Program Coordinator at the International Organization of Migration, who also witnessed this event hoped that this collaboration could benefit refugees and be the beginning of more fruitful collaborations to come, both for refugees and for UPH.
UNHCR is the United Nations program with the mandate to protect refugees, displaced communities, and stateless people, and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
UPH is Indonesia’s leading comprehensive university with over 20,000 students, offering 68 different study programs with an international student body from more than 30 countries.