When Roshan Learning Center’s collaboration with Elite Open School started in August 2019, Faiza was part of our first cohort of students. Her journey has been nothing short of inspiring.
Faiza wasn’t always a morning person. “I couldn’t imagine waking up at 6 or 5,” she says. Now, she wakes up before 6 AM and gets ready for school in Roshan’s Elite Open School program. She has to leave early since she travels between one and two hours to get to the center. After she arrives, she goes straight to the class where she continues with English, math, civics, and science studies. In three years, she has changed, and things have changed, too, for her family.
Forced by persecution to leave their home in Pakistan, Faiza and her family arrived in the North Sumatran city of Medan five years ago. In Medan, few activities and opportunities were accessible to her. “I did nothing. I woke up, ate lunch and dinner, and went back to bed.” She and her family then moved to Semarang, a city in Central Java. In Semarang, apart from some handicraft classes and homeschooling, there was very little to do. Most people around her spoke languages that she did not understand, and making friends and socializing was out of the question.
When Faiza and her family arrived in Jakarta two years ago, she applied for Roshan and got accepted to our Secondary 3 class. Joining Roshan has been a life-changing experience for her. “Roshan gives me a lot,” she says. “It gives me hope, it brings so much positivity in my life.” Like many of her fellow students, Faiza also finds it as a path full of opportunity.
Roshan welcomed her with open arms. She made friends and met new people. It was an exciting time for her: “Roshan is a place where you can meet people from different corners of the world.” In Secondary 3, she studied English, Bahasa Indonesia, math, and soft skills. These were essential subjects and she liked them. However, she began to feel the limitations of informal education. “There was no end goal,” she says. She was learning “lots of important things,” but she wanted something more tangible to help her prepare for a better future. She found this through Roshan’s Elite Open School program.
When Faiza joined the first Roshan Elite class, she was given the opportunity to meet her full potential. Aside from her Elite studies, Faiza also spends part of her time at Bersama (a vocational program of YICF, Roshan’s parent organization) and helps her siblings at home. In her spare time she enjoys reading books and watching movies. Speaking more than two languages, Faiza stands out easily as a bright and hard-working student. Faiza’s career goal is to become a businesswoman and start her own business in the future. After finishing high school with Elite, she hopes to get resettled soon and continue her higher education.
Faiza is now working through Elite’s more advanced content that is in line with the demands of the modern world. With an official U.S. high school diploma that is recognized in other countries, she believes that college or university is now a real possibility for her. Elite is the first big step for her towards a brighter future.