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Jannatul, a Survivor of Conflict

2021-06-30

Jannatul, a 5-year-old Rohingya girl, lives in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Two years ago, she was living in Rakhine State, Myanmar, with her family. Her parents had a garden and cattle, and the family led a good life. But that summer, everything changed overnight.

In late August 2017, conflict erupted in Rakhine, turning many Rohingya villages into battlefields. As Salima, Jannatul’s mother, recalls, “Our homes were set on fire and burned to the ground. People were running everywhere.” Jannatul and her mother survived, only to find out that her father was shot and her two siblings were stabbed to death. That night, the two began running for their survival to Bangladesh, following thousands of fellow villagers.

It was a strenuous journey, but eventually they made it to the camp. “We walked for a week in the rain, and for three days we didn’t eat,” says Salima. “Jannatul was about to die when another family shared some food with us.” They also saw many people dead along the way.

Sited on hilly terrain with limited space, the camp is in poor condition and liable to disasters like monsoons and landslides, which puts the lives of over 900,000 refugees at great risk.

World Vision is currently assisting Salima and other families in need by providing access to clean water and supplementary food, as well as materials such as concrete and bamboos for refugees to reinforce their homes against monsoons. Jannatul also enjoys attending World Vision’s Child Friendly Space where she can play and learn with other refugee children and support one another. Please continue to help these refugees as they rebuild their livelihoods and recover from the painful and traumatic experiences.

Jannatul (middle on phone screen) lost both of her siblings overnight. This photo of the trio on her mother’s phone is now the only surviving memory of them.

Though still a young child, Jannatul has to help her mother fetch water and perform other household chores in the refugee camp.

Jannatul regularly attends World Vision’s Child Friendly Space. Her favourite activities include drawing and reading picture books.



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