To close the month of Ramadan we got paints out in two of our child friendly spaces in Cox's Bazar. One space was in Ukhia (one of the host communities) and the other space was in Kutupalong Extension Settlement. This is what happiness looks like at Eid for them.
Humanitarian workers arriving from prior deployments such as Iraq, Lebanon, Damascus or Sudan share that they have never witnessed a crisis of such scale. When looking beyond the horizon of unending tarpaulin rooftops held up by bamboo sticks, across a hilly terrain; it seems like a miracle that a staggering 866,000 people have been living in 5,800 acres of makeshift settlements since August 2017.
10-year-old Harisa describes how she and her family escaped from their home in Myanmar and crossed the border into Bangladesh. She is one of almost a million Rohingyas living in the makeshift settlements in Cox's Bazar- all of whom experienced similar trauma.
Contrary to popular belief, Noor had a clear understanding of what family planning is, and her husband was supportive of it - she had delivered her daughter with the help of a midwife at that very same health facility. She was encouraged to have her child here by a Rohingya traditional birth attendant– a volunteer in BRAC’s health team.
Let us take the recent Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh- dubbed as the world’s fastest growing humanitarian crisis- as a case to see why and how BRAC can be a model for the localisation in humanitarian response.
10-year-old Abdullah is writing numbers in his notebook, sitting on a bright blue and green mat with the sun pouring in through the thatched bamboo. He writes, without pause and in neat handwriting, from 1 to 20 in Burmese and English. Abdullah attends the temporary learning centre in B26/1 of Balukhali 1 in Cox’s Bazar along with his two brothers.
BRAC recently partnered with Clowns Without Borders UK, a charity that aims to share laughter with children in crisis. A team from the charity visited Cox's Bazar to spread a little cheer among the Rohingya children. The playful performances recognised that despite the trauma or difficulties they may have witnessed, children have the right to play, have fun and heal.
It is five months today since 688,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas migrated to Bangladesh from Myanmar. BRAC has been on the ground delivering humanitarian support from two weeks after the influx began. To date, we have reached over 620,000 Rohingyas with critical services, making up the largest civil society response to the crisis.
A woman’s handbag seemingly contains a world of mystery. Her phone, keys, wallet, some tissue to wipe the nose, a sanitary pad just in case, maybe sunglasses, and receipts from the supermarket. But what does one carry in a crisis?