A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence (UNHCR). A refugee leaving their homes is most likely afraid or cannot return home as prosecutions for reasons of race, nationality, political opinion, membership in particular group, or because of natural disasters that destroyed their homes. Refugees are just like us. They have the right to live their lives, have peace, and have a home.


This year, SCORP CIMSA UPH in collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR Indonesia), Church World Services (CWS Indonesia), and Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata Pelita Harapan (STPPH) organized and event called HUG or “Help for Refugees”. The aim of this project is to aid the refugees in terms of food and nutrition via infosession and a cooking demonstration. According to UNHCR Indonesia (2018), refugees in Indonesia are at an increased risk for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and stroke due to the lack of knowledge and familiarity in regards to Indonesian foods. Local alternatives to the form of carbohydrate, protein, fibre, and vitamins that the refugees were used to are not well known within their community, hence they either spend too much in expensive foods that they do recognize or they opt for relatively unhealthy options that are more accessible. Hence the theme of this event was “Low in price, high in nutrition”, in hopes of addressing this relevant issue within the refugee community. Participants of this event were Somalian refugees. Around 20 families attended, with a total of 50 participants.

The event was commenced by greetings from Erica Widodo as vice local coordinator for external affairs CIMSA UPH, and by a representative of the CWS. The first main event was an educational infosession delivered by DR. Dr. Dwi Susilowati MSc. IBCLC. SpGK about nutrition and local foods which meet the daily nutritional intake recommendations without breaking the bank. The following session was a QnA which displayed high enthusiasm from the participants as they still had many burning questions after the time was up. After this we had a cooking demonstration from STPPH. The concept of this activity was to have a main chef demonstrating how to cook two simple, healthy, and cheap menus while the participants also cook along. The OC supplied the cooking appliances and ingredients and set up 4 cooking booths such would a proper cooking show. The menus were “Sup Kembang Tahu Ayam” and “Sauteed Vegetables”, two very simple and cheap yet tasty and nutritious Indonesian dishes applicable for cooking in daily life of anyone, not just refugees. After the cooking session, the meals were then served and everyone had dinner together. After dinner the organizing committee bid their farewells and the participants delivered their thoughts on the event. The refugees appreciated the OC for the project and considered this as a refreshing  and recreational event because of the opportunity to gather and sit down to have a meal with everyone in the Somalian refugee community.


This activity organized according to the CIMSA Program: Human Rights Equality by helping to identify and then act upon the needs of the refugees in Indonesia, and the CIMSA Program: Non Communicable Diseases by delivering education and initiating empowerment in the hopes of improving their quality of life through nutrition.


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