Kalideres Asylum Seekers may be `Homeless` after August 31

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Thousands of asylum seekers sheltered at a temporary camp in Kalideres, West Jakarta, might have no place to go when the government of Jakarta shuts it down on August 31. Some 1,151 refugees, have been staying for more than 40 days at the ex-military building turned into their shelter.

    The Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, had announced August 22 that all forms of aid for the Kalideres refugee camp, which accommodates 843 adults and 308 children, will also be withdrawn.

    "Nobody knows how long we can stay, but this is the only place we have," said Syed Ali Shah Mosawi, a refugee from Afghanistan, told ANTARA on Friday.

    "We heard from someone, we can stay until this month, but there is no food being offered by the government since last month," he added.

    Mosawi, a 37-year-old father of four, came to Indonesia with his family in March 2018, and lived in Jakarta for less than two months before moving to Bogor, and then to Kalideres since the camp opened because they could not afford the monthly rent.

    The family had sought financial support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as well as other non-government organizations, such as the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Church World Service (CWS), that conducted some home visits to their address in Bogor, but up until now they have not received any feedback from them.

    "We want to stay here until we get a house or financial help," he added.

    Another refugee, 16-year-old Nabila also from Afghanistan, told ANTARA that she is aware that they are allowed to stay in Kalideres only until the end of this month.

    "We don’t know what to do after that. We ran out of everything we had, that is why we came here," she said.

    Nabila left Afghanistan with her parents and four siblings and arrived in Indonesia 18 months ago.

    "We sold everything in Afghanistan to come here; home, car, everything we had, just to be safe,” said Nabila, who dreams of becoming a businesswoman.

    ANTARA