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This year’s World Refugee Day comes at a time of a global pandemic. While many of us are wondering what our individual futures will look like in the coming months, for people who have been forcibly displaced, uncertainty is an everyday reality.
BRAC believes that every person has what it takes to build a better life for themselves and others. With dedication and commitment to do well by themselves and others, people’s strength will always prevail, no matter the extent of adversity. Today, we are sharing three such stories of compassion and perseverance.
“Only prevention can protect my community from this disease.
I am ensuring my family, neighbours, and everyone else in the camps knows about COVID-19.
We have been having one-on-one conversations about social distancing and hygiene measures and holding demonstrations. They have been demonstrating, perfectly, afterwards.”
Din Islam is a Rohingya volunteer for BRAC’s Community Youth Group for Boys that focuses on awareness building for Rohingya communities in the camps in Cox’s Bazar. Equipped with protective wear, Din goes door to door with life-saving messages.
“We first heard about the virus in March. We believed that Muslims would not be affected, and thought that garlic was the cure.
Later, I learnt how the virus spreads. I am fortunate to have a voice in the community. People listen to what I say. That has helped in creating awareness.”
Osman Gani is one of the many Rohingya religious leaders using their platforms to share life-saving information in the camps in Cox’s Bazar. He is a part of BRAC’s RelNet project, funded by UNICEF, which focuses on peace-building between host and Rohingya communities.
“There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from financially contributing to the family. This feeling is evident in the faces of the women who are earning wages through producing masks.”
Snigdha Sengupta is a centre manager in the Women Empowerment Project funded by UN Women and led by BRAC. Since April, Rohingya women living in the camps have produced 30,000 masks through the project, in response to COVID-19.
All production activities maintained strict physical distancing, hygiene and health guidelines.
This #WorldRefugeeDay, these stories reflect the dedication of the 79.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide in improving their own lives as well as those of their host communities. The threat of COVID-19 is exponentially compounded for these people, who are living in situations such as refugee camps.