In June, 2017 we released the feature documentary The Staging Post. Filmed by 17 year-old refugee Khadim Dai it followed the story of a small group of Afghan Hazara refugees stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats'.
The film screened at packed cinemas across Australia and, through community support and word-of-mouth, we became the 14th biggest Australian Documentary at the Australian Box Office in 2017.
Trailer - https://vimeo.com/239756181
The film continues to screen at cinemas and community screenings across Australia and we plan to get on that scorecard again this year. Please get in touch if you would like to hold a screening at your cinema. More at thestagingpost.com.au.
In The Staging Post, the refugees inspired a refugee-led education revolution in Indonesia. There are now over 1500 students learning at 10 refugee-led schools, taught by around 100 volunteer refugee teachers!
Now we are discovering that the positive effects of their idea are rippling in ever widening circles worldwide, and the Second Episode will continue to follow this remarkable and unprecedented refugee-led initiative.
Through the film and the screenings, the direct connection between the refugees stuck in Indonesia and everyday Australians is growing.
They have everything to teach us. They didn't wait for their government. They didn't even have a government, and still they became the change they wanted in their world. We can too.
Please help by making a donation through the fabulous DAF.
Each scene costs us about 2-3K to film. Maybe you would like to get a group together to sponsor a scene, but every donation or word of encouragement helps.
Director of The Staging Post
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
The refugee crisis is the biggest crisis the world is facing right now and the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre proves that refugees can and should be a part of the solution.
By focussing on their own capacity rather than their deficits, they have been able to build a functioning school for nearly 200 students. As they built the school they discovered that a community naturally formed, and that this community alleviated loneliness, boredom and anxiety. The school provided a space to reclaim their sense of identity and agency.
This approach has had remarkable and unexpected results. The school and The Staging Post have directly inspired eight other schools. There are now up to 1500 refugees receiving some form of education in Indonesia.
We have also discovered that refugees resettled from the CRLC are integrating and succeeding at far greater levels than regular refugees.
Of the 12 children resettled from the school, 11 have directly entered their age-appropriate classes. Only two have required English-Second-Language support.
Families are being met at the airport (like Muzafar's family in the first episode), and are guided through the integration process with fantastic results
The teachers and students at the CRLC have watched their friends succeed and now know what is possible. An 'institutional knowledge' is developed as the resettled refugees transfer their knowledge back to those in Indonesia. They are training their friends for when they get their chance!
Through screenings, advocacy, outreach and this second episode we continue to follow and explore this truely remarkable, real-life, real-time story.
There's a long way to go yet!
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
The Staging Post
and the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre
have inspired a refugee-led education revolution in Indonesia. There are now nine other refugee schools in Indonesia and we regularly receive requests for advice from transient communities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and even Syria and Iraq.
The school is having incredible results. For example, recently the UNHCR reversed their guidelines for refugees in Indonesia and now encourage them to engage in education initiatives. When our students are relocated to the US, Canada or Australia they are going directly into their age-appropriate classes.
The refugees in Indonesia discovered that, even living outside of a state system, they had the ability to solve many of their own problems. They are now spreading the message that 'Refugees can be a part of the solution', globally.
'The community has a strong social media presence and manages its own public representation, focusing on a narrative of refugee capacity rather than need.'
'The real value lies in the process behind the outcomes—refugees building trust in one another, confidence, participation in problem-solving and decision-making, and a general sense of starting each day with a purpose. After more than two decades working with refugees, this is certainly the most effective pre-departure preparation program I have encountered.’
Lucy Fiske. Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UTS, Sydney.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
Individuals big and small from all walks of life make up the CRLC family. Our community has been growing steadily over the past 4 years and we now have over 5000 individual supporters. Everyone who connects with our story becomes a steadfast supporter, either big or small. No-one is unaffected by the strength of character and bravery shown by the refugees in Indonesia.
We will continue to support the refugee community in Indonesia for as long as they need it, and they will continue to provide opportunities for Australians to learn about life as a refugee.
Our story shows the possibilities of Australians and Refugees working together, and our goal is to bring refugees and Australians together through film screenings, Skype discussions and our ongoing social media posts.
Bringing these two communities together at a personal and individual level we bypass institutions and abstract political arguments.
The CRLC and the other refugee-led schools prove that refugees can be a part of the solution. For Australians, regardless of our governments position, it proves that we have the capacity to make and act on our own.
The Staging Post, was the 14th most successful Australian Documentary in cinemas in 2017 and we held over 50 public screenings. Many more are planned for 2018.
The film will be the featured film at the 2018 Refugee Week.
Our core idea is that, Refugees can be a part of the solution'. The Staging Post and the CRLC has already inspired a refugee-led education revolution in Indonesia an in 2018 we plan to create a worldwide refugee education phenomenon'.
Pleas help us make our dream a reality.