Empowering refugees & the urban poor
A bustling, megacity of almost 30 million residents, greater Jakarta is also home to over 6,000 refugees and asylum-seekers and over 7,000 waste pickers living and working on landfills. Due to social and legal barriers, both populations lack access to education, healthcare, and formal employment.
Our work emerged organically in response to these challenges and eventually obtained official NGO status in 2015. We are a vibrant network of almost 100 Indonesians, expatriates, and refugees working together to create educational and economic opportunities for marginalized communities.
Today, Light of Dawn International (in Indonesian: Yayasan Internasional Cahaya Fajar) impacts the lives of over 250 refugees and 300 Indonesian families in greater Jakarta. Our mission is to empower marginalized urban communities, especially those affected by some of the biggest humanitarian issues of the modern era: the movement of displaced peoples, urban migration, and the rising divide between the rich and the poor.
The “Living on Landfills: Indonesians Finding Education & Enterprise” (LIFE) program serves approximately 120 children and 300 families living and working as waste pickers on one of the world’s largest landfills, Bantar Gebang.
LIFE provides preschool classes, after-school tutoring, and university/vocational degree scholarships. The program has also provided school buildings, safe places for children to play, and the area’s first toilets. LIFE operates in 4 communities on the landfill and 2 communities in nearby slum areas.
The goal of this program is to break generational cycles of poverty by empowering the children and youth.
Roshan Learning Center is a community-driven program that fills an education gap for asylum seekers and refugees in Jakarta who are unable to attend formal school during their long wait for resettlement.
Roshan now serves 150 students of all ages from preschool to adulthood. Core academic content include Indonesian and English, math/science/computer, and soft skills. We foster a caring community of learners where everyone is welcomed, valued, and held to high standards.
The goals of this program are to increase refugees’ sense of self-worth, cognitive and language skills, and social and emotional well-being, which will enhance future opportunities for academic and employment success.
The Financial Assistance to Asylum Seekers and Refugees (FAAR) program provides basic living costs for food, shelter, and medical needs for asylum seekers and refugees who have no other means of support.
FAAR serves over 60 families, including children under 12. Beneficiaries are encouraged to participate in educational opportunities or community service activities, such as providing child care to other refugees, translating program documents, or teaching refugee children.
The goal of this program is to keep refugees alive and healthy while raising levels of productivity and hope.
Indonesian staff and teachers
refugee managers and teachers
local and international volunteers
Our leadership comes from an international team of men and women who have a shared vision for empowering marginalized urban communities in Jakarta. We include businessmen, educators and education experts, church leaders, and tech experts. We are specialists in our fields who recognize that we have greater value added when we collaborate--with each other and with the people we aim to serve.
Joy Lee, YICF Executive Director
Yusup Lifire, LIFE Program Director
Brandon Baughn, Roshan Program Director
Board of Trustees
Heather Biggar Tomlinson, Chair and Co-founder of Roshan Learning Center
Mike Broomell, Member and Founder of FAAR
Ashley Berryhill, Member and Co-founder of Roshan Learning Center
Anthony C., Member
Jayson Berryhill, Advisor
Would you like to learn more about our work or how to get involved? Connect us using the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you!