New Hope Learning Center
One of the main concerns expressed by refugee parents is the education of their children during this period of waiting. Since most children do not get to attend the local schools, we wanted to educate these refugee children for more than just two hours every Saturday. In 2018, we did not have the manpower to pull this off, as most people willing to help worked during the day. While visiting some refugees in June, however, David Paul discovered that some of the refugees new to the Serpong area had been teaching at the detention center in which they previously stayed. And so, by the end of that day, we had already recruited seven refugee teachers to join us in this ministry and start a learning center.
We opened our learning center on Sept 2, 2019 with about 70 kids in attendance and 8 refugee teachers, 2 International Teachers College (ITC) students, and 5 Indonesian volunteers teaching these children. We offered four subjects at first: Mathematics, English, Art, and Indonesian. We hope that we can help prepare these children for their future host countries by educating them. Currently, the in-person NHLC is closed down due to Covid-19 and we hope to restart at the appropriate time.
Some of our initial NHLC teachers
After closing for about 10 months due to the pandemic, NHLC reopened its metaphorical doors on January 28, 2021, with online English classes. This soon expanded to the point where we now offer 8 subjects (English, Math, Science, Reading, Geography, History, Art, and Indonesian Language), all online, compared to only 4 from when we first started NHLC in September 2019. At the moment, we have 70 students, 6-18 years old, from not only the Serpong area but also Jakarta and Bogor! We have been blessed with 30 volunteer teachers holding classes from all across the world (Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, and the US).
Online NHLC teacher meeting on November 14, 2021
Meet Our Teachers
Kathleen, Indonesian (Indonesia)
Some of our teachers explain why they volunteered to teach at the learning center.
Angie Kisk, Science teacher
Ghani Hussaini, Art teacher
Filbert Gunawan, Science teacher
Amelia Jukita, Indonesian Language teacher
"One dear friend offered me to teach the refugee teenagers and it was really heartwarming to see their willingness to learn. I just started teaching for one month in New Hope Learning Center when COVID happened. It forced us to stop our learning process for a long time. I am thankful and blessed to take part in teaching English online for 9-13-year-old children now. When I see their spirit to learn, I was so happy beyond words. I hope they can learn not only English but also good values for their future life."
- Vinny Dharmadi, English teacher
"I volunteered to teach the refugees children 2 years for the Saturday kids program alongside other international students. I was also one of the pioneer volunteer-teachers for the NHLC. However, I stopped teaching at the NHLC during the last few months of my senior year of college, going through the pandemic. But late last year, I started thinking of ways on how I can use my free time profitably. I prayed about it and I felt the urge that God is leading me to volunteer 2 hours of my weekends to teach the refugees kids again. This is the best decision I made so far in 2021.
From the time spend teaching the refugees teenagers, I learned that teaching is not all about that rigorous, well-planned, or well-researched lessons. But teaching is connecting to these children at a heart-to-heart level, giving them an opportunity to express their ideas and ask questions. They are intelligent, curious learners, and super talented. Additionally, I learned that what they need is more than just content (English), but they need an opportunity to be heard, to be known, and to be mentored to be the version of themselves.
I always look forward to seeing them on Saturdays and spending time with them."
- Joel Timai, English teacher
"When one of my friends informed me that there was an opening for volunteer teachers for refugees, I was really interested. And, I was happy to hear that I can join as an Art teacher, especially working with children.
Teaching refugee kids are the same as teaching any other kids. They are bright, talented, and eager to learn. I enjoy sharing my art experience with them."
- Pungky Yudieaty, Art teacher
"I moved to Jakarta from the U.S. this past September. I heard about NHLC through my church and wanted to help support their ministry, so when I heard that they needed an English teacher, I started to pray about it. Although I haven’t been teaching at NHLC for very long, I’ve already been surprised and delighted by the joy that my students have and their passion for learning. I’m so glad to have the chance to help them continue learning and improving their English, even during a pandemic!"
- Ariadne Lewis, English teacher
"Since I heard about Refugee Classes with Auntie Bee and Uncle David since 2018, it became my priority to help through volunteering as a teacher, praying consistently, and connecting constantly with the Paul family. Then, the first Refugee classes was established last August 2018 which I am honored to be part of. My role as a volunteer teacher was put on hold when I started my first year as a professional teacher. Nevertheless, the pandemic gave me an opportunity to rekindle my passion to teach in NHLC.
I am grateful and energized whenever I see my students learn with enthusiasm. I hope for each kid to progress and transform their learning into action. Every Saturday, this is one of the roles that I most look forward to do!"
- Llana Rose Legario, English teacher
"Throughout my life I have learned so many things, such as language, science, math and even simple things like learning how to ride a bike. From all these new things that I have learned, there is this feeling that never gets old; the feeling of achievement and happiness. Knowing that many children are not as lucky as I am in getting these diverse experiences and the education I have been blessed with, I just felt encouraged to teach these refugee children. I made it my main goal to teach at NHLC in order to do what I can to help these refugee children feel what I feel and get what I get.
Getting to know my students have been a truly rewarding experience. Some of the things that I enjoyed about teaching these refugee children include watching them try their best just to answer a single math problem, and seeing their interests in exploring new fields in mathematics, and, most importantly, connecting with them and sharing laughs together. They possess the greatest qualities from their humor to their intelligence, which, sadly, in today’s society are often overlooked. With this, I don’t think I will stop teaching these refugee children any time soon. How can I?"
- Kenzie Liem, Math teacher
"When I was a freshman in college, I went on a short-term service trip to St. Louis, MO, where I volunteered at an organization that helps refugees settle down in the area. After graduating from college and returning to Indonesia, I learned about NHLC, and my interest in helping refugees was rekindled. My favorite part about teaching my students has been the discussions we have in class. My students ask me difficult, thought-provoking questions about the stories we read, then they come up with answers that even I was unable to think of. Their insight and eagerness to learn have brought me much joy. I leave every class feeling energized and refreshed, and I always look forward to the following week when I can meet my students again. I have been blessed greatly through teaching at NHLC!"
- Yovela Belicia, Reading teacher
"Having always been passionate about children, education, and teaching, I see the opportunity to teach the refugee children at the NHLC as a means for me to serve and use the talents God has given me.
Some of the things I enjoy in teaching the refugee children are seeing their enthusiasm in studying, their commitment to attending the class, and their willingness to open up and share the challenges they encounter in learning the subject. Additionally, while hoping that the refugee children will be blessed through the class, I believe that serving God through this ministry will allow me to learn things I would not have known otherwise. I am really looking forward to spending my time with the children."
- Kathleen Nugroho, Indonesian Language teacher
"I came to know NHLC through my church, and when I found out they had an opening for a volunteer teacher, I was so excited to join them. Teaching the refugee kids has been such a blessing, and I admire their enthusiasm. Seeing the kids smile every Saturday always makes my day, and I am honoured to be a part of their learning journey."
- Adeline Jouw, Art teacher
"I chose to teach at NHLC as I had the opportunity to work with something called the Square One Project, which was working with NHLC. I enjoy teaching the kids math as they are curious and playful. They actively participate, which is very encouraging for me."
- Nicole Utomo, Math teacher
"As someone with a passion to serve, I chose to teach at NHLC after opening my own student-led organization alongside my friend, Amelia, which aims to better the education system here in Indonesia. Specifically, we decided to teach here because of NHLC’s reputation as a credible and trusted refugee ministry. I was amazed by the range of subjects my peers and I could teach, and the diverse age groups of refugee students. When it comes to my experience of teaching the refugee kids, I enjoy seeing their progress and their curiosity the most; it feels awesome to be a part of their learning journey and to know that they’re gaining something from my lessons. There are also challenges that come with it though, such as communication barriers, as I have to simplify my language to the best of my capability, so they can fully understand what I’m trying to say."
- Gwen Zhang, Geography teacher