Roble* was born in a small town about 15 miles from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. His family was part of a minority clan in a country where clan is an important part of your identity. His clan faced discrimination…and worse. Men from the area’s majority clan attacked Roble’s family and killed his father in front of the family. Roble’s cousin was afraid that Roble would be killed next, so he arranged for Roble’s escape.
After a bus ride to Mogadishu, a flight to Malaysia and a boat trip to Jakarta, Roble–like hundreds of other asylum seekers before him–found his way to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office. He registered for asylum and, because he was still a child, was taken to a CWS-hosted group home for refugee boys and teenagers. He was grateful for his safety and a welcoming place to sleep. More than that, though, he was grateful to see other Somali boys his own age in his new home. “I feel safer and more comfortable here than when I was back in Somalia,” he says.
Now that he has settled into his new home, Roble has enrolled in classes and is learning English and the Indonesian language. He also recently started taking a mobile phone repair class, which he excels at. It’s a tough class because there are small differences in all the different types of phones, but Roble is working hard to learn. “Mastering this skill will change my future for the better,” he says. He knows that having a relevant vocational skill will give him a way to earn a living and provide for himself, especially once he turns 18 and ages out of the group home.
By offering Roble and the other boys in our care relevant vocational training, we are helping to ensure that they are prepared for their independent lives once they turn 18.
*Name changed to protect the identity of a refugee child.