It has been five years since over 700,000 Rohingya people fled unimaginable horrors in Myanmar including, mass killings, rape and widespread human rights abuses, to seek safety in Bangladesh.
Most arrived in a state of shock, grief and exhaustion, carrying nothing but the clothes on their back. Now The humanitarian situation is reaching its breaking point. For five years, Rohingya children have gone without formal education, parents and caregivers have gone without employment, and all refugees have become more vulnerable to deaths and injuries from large-scale fires, flooding, and rising insecurity than ever before.
Many families are reliant on food rations to survive. They need access to safe water and healthcare. Three in four children are out of school. And living conditions in the camps mean there is a major risk of disease outbreaks, including cholera and diphtheria. Girls are exposed to violence and abuse. Rohingya children are worried about their futures;they need hope.
Save the Children is one of the leading International NGOs working in Cox’s Bazar and has been there since 2012.
Save the Children is on the ground ensuring children are safe, protected and learning. We've built health facilities, including a 20-bed Primary Health Care Centre, which provide 24-hour care for sick and injured children, as well as support the safe delivery of newborns. We've installed toilets and bathing units, and are distributing essential hygiene items so children can stay healthy.
We're providing emotional and psychosocial support to children to help them come to terms with the traumatic experiences they've been through.
We've also set up temporary learning centres, and are distributing teaching and learning materials so children can continue to learn. And, we've set up Child and Girl Friendly Spaces where children can learn, play and be children again.
To meet the urgent health needs of the community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also opened a new Isolation Treatment Centre (ITC), with a capacity of up to 60 beds.
Sajida* fled persecution and violence in Myanmar with her family. She was hungry and scared, and she saw a man shot. They waited for days at the border to get on a boat to Bangladesh.
"We suffered a lot while fleeing Myanmar. We were scared when they chased us. They shot a man before our very eyes. It took 10 days to reach Bangladesh. For three days, we didn't eat. Some people died in the heat. We were so scared."
Sajida is now living in a refugee settlement in Bangladesh.
"We feel happy in Bangladesh. We can learn reading and writing, and play. I like my new friends. We share our secrets with each other and play together."