Three years walking with the RohingyaLast Update：2020/09/14
In late August 2017, conflict broke out in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Three years after the mass atrocities forced them to flee for their lives, 860,000 Rohingya—more than half of whom are children—are still living in limbo in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Their future remains uncertain at best.
As the crisis enters its fourth year, reduced global funding for emergencies—due in part to COVID-19-related economic havoc—threatens to further deteriorate the already dire living conditions and access to services for these vulnerable children and their families.
Before the pandemic, Rohingya children had limited access to any educational services. Now with learning centres closed and fewer humanitarians accessing in the camps, they have even less protection. Without work, their parents are forced to turn to negative coping strategies, such as marrying their children off or sending them out to work. Child marriage is on the rise and reportedly children as young as age 7 are working in some camps.
In the past three years, World Vision has been working with Rohingya parents, imams and local leaders to strengthen community-based child protection. We are also supporting families stressed by the health and economic impact of COVID-19, especially as they enter yet another year of exile.
World Vision's Response
In the past year, we have served over 498,900 refugees through the following response:
- Provide food packages and food vouchers for refugees and host communities
- Provide malnutrition screening and treatment for children under the age of five
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
- Construct latrines and install handwashing facilities and bathing spaces
- Construct or rehabilitate wells to increase water supply
- Distribute farm and non-farm assets, such as seeds and fruit tree saplings, to host communities
- Provide life skills training for adolescents to equip them for the future
- Establish women and girls’ safe spaces so they can find support and referral services
- Provide psychosocial support for families and training on preventing gender-based violence
- Provide refugees and host community members with prevention information
- Distribute hand-washing supplies and hygiene kits to refugees
Child Friendly Spaces and learning centres protect children from violence and exploitation. Children learn English, Science, Life Skills, Maths, and Burmese, according to their grade levels. They spend safe and quality time in the centres.
Refugee families receive e-vouchers to buy nutritious food of their own choice.
Social distancing is practised while mothers and children wait for receiving nutritional support.
In a Child Friendly Space, children can enjoy a rare moment of happiness by taking part in activities such as singing and drawing.
Women and adolescent girls receive dignity kits which contain a cloth napkin, laundry soap, underwear and a torch, etc. They also learn about feminine hygiene to keep personal hygiene in the adverse living condition.
A group of adolescent refugees attend solar panel repair class in the camp. They learn numeracy, literacy, and pre-vocational training at 20 World Vision centres which benefit up to 3,530 adolescents each month.
Mazeda, 25, showing off her embroidery handiwork, which she learned to do at a safe space for women and girls. The skill enables them to earn some money while staying at home.
Rohingya women learned to sew masks so they can help protect their community from COVID-19 here in the world’s largest refugee camp. They are helping to save lives while earning a small income themselves.