ROHINGYA REFUGEES: THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

By Samaira Muid

Education

Education is a privilege everyone deserves, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion. That is exactly what the JAAGO Foundation aims to do all across the country. JAAGO’s Safe Haven Project for Rohingya children targets to help 500 distressed children through better education facilities, trauma management, emotional healing, and development.

These Rohingya refugees faced chaos and suffering, being forced to flee from their own country to Bangladesh, leaving everything they knew behind. Their identities were lost as they settled down in a different place, different country, with unknown people. Nothing remained of their past lives except for haunting memories. Still, flickers of hope were reignited once more when they got the opportunity to educate their children and help them overcome their troubles- through the Safe Haven Project. 

At Chitttagong’s Kutupalong Refugee Camp, hundreds of small children have post-traumatic stress disorder after having to experience extreme violence and atrocity at a very young age. They are victims of neglect, abuse, and trauma that has emotionally and physically scarred them severely. To help them overcome these battles, the Safe Haven Project launched several initiatives to support them in healing quicker. 

The Safe Haven Project provided them aid to conquer their mental and physical difficulties and improve their lives through better hygiene, protection, nutrition, care, love, and clear communication with professionals.  For them, it was a prospect of a brighter future, the defeat of the battles of their past, and the freedom to dream. With the help of the project and our volunteers, these inspiring and determined children have finally found a safe sanctuary where they could dare to dream.

With daily activities, games, learning courses, and interactive sessions, the young children got a chance for their well-deserved education and an experience of how everyday life feels like. These subjugated people have been provided with better medical facilities, food distribution, protection, and education and are gradually improving. The greatest gift for JAAGO Foundation is seeing the bright smiles of the people who have suffered for so long.

Although all the learning centres are closed right now, the Sesame Street Organization has taken the initiative to provide us with various posters to display on the centres’ walls to raise awareness of the situation at hand. This content will allow children to have an exciting and visual learning experience about the Coronavirus and create COVID awareness among them. Today we see ourselves standing in a place where everyone’s lives have changed drastically, and the future remains uncertain, especially for the Rohingya refugees.

They are now faced with another severe crisis that threatens to crush them again- COVID-19. As the global pandemic is raging on, the second wave of COVID-19 in Bangladesh remains a national concern. Consequently, due to the overcrowding situation at the camp and the threat of the virus spreading, the learning centres have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, with food distribution and medical services being the only facilities available. Nevertheless, we have remained in contact with the refugees and our students to ensure that they are safe and healthy in the midst of this hardship.

Throughout our journey with the Safe Haven Project, we have been tirelessly supported by various organisations and individuals. We believe that we can soon get back with our students to start teaching them again. Today, we hope that you can also help us by contributing to this cause for the better future of the Rohingya refugees who have struggled so much but have never given up.

*This report has been published at GlobalGiving