Asylum seekers in Indonesia

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The Routledge Handbook of Community Development Perspectives from Around the Globe, 2018, pp. 358 - 369 (12)
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Community development in Western countries is usually premised on the idea of a profession, occupation or as a component of social work and cognate disciplines. This chapter looks at "insider" community development without organizational links and examines attempts of an asylum seeker and refugee community in the West Java location of Cisarna to deal with their protracted refugee situation. Our exploration is through the lens of survival community development. We use the concept of survival as it recognizes inherent capacity in all humans. While sharing much in common with sustainable community development, most particularly in centering shared humanity as foundational and its approach to humanity as communitarian and collective in nature, sustainability is limited. Sustainable community development presumes citizenship and aims for life-long or even trans-generational development. The population group discussed here is, by definition, temporaty and transitional. Asylum seekers in Indonesia do not have citizenship nor any pathway to settle permanently there. This temporariness is fundamental to their condition and shapes their relationships. Temporary existence can be a limiting factor for community development activities as transferability is not necessarily accommodated in survival activities, and as people move on there may be a loss of skills and achievements.
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