Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely

by USA for UNFPA
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Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely
Help Rohingya Refugees Become New Moms Safely

Project Report | Oct 13, 2022
In Cox's Bazar, Girls Choose Education

By USA for UNFPA | Communciations

@UNFPA Bangladesh/Farjana Sultana
@UNFPA Bangladesh/Farjana Sultana

Far too often, girls experience violence like child marriage or sexual assault, which leaves them vulnerable to pregnancy. Around the world, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for teenage girls. And, when girls are asked what they want, they choose education, their friends, and their futures over motherhood.

In Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, home to Rohingya refugee settlements, Ranu works to fight violence against girls. She explained,"I was married at the age of 14 and I lost my first child during pregnancy." In her remote neighbourhood, teenage motherhood is prevalent. Due to social taboos and socioeconomic circumstances, girls are frequently denied the right to an education and other opportunities.

"Because I come from a poor household, I was only able to attend school to the second grade, and neither did my siblings,” Ranu faced many challenges as a minority in her community, a situation shared by tens of thousands of women in Cox's Bazar.

Dreams for a brighter tomorrow

Back in 2021, Ranu joined SASA! Together community. SASA stands for Start, Awareness, Support, Action. She actively promotes violence awareness in her immediate family, neighbourhood, and the larger community.

UNFPA has been assisting women, men, boys, and girls through a community-based approach to preventing and mitigating violence against women and girls. SASA! Together is a step-by-step social mobilization technique utilized in both Rohingya and host communities to stop all forms of violence against women and girls, as well as to assist men and women residents in becoming champions for their own community.

Since December 2020, SASA! Together mobilized over 300,000 people across refugee settlements in activism campaigns, trainings, brainstorming and knowledge-sharing sessions, group works and discussions to inform, share and increase awareness on the different forms of violence and the safety of women and girls. This has translated into positive relationships nurtured by hope, positivity, communication, respect, and equity.

As I never had any chance to get any kind of formal education, I remain quite excited about all the learnings I receive from the SASA!Together approach. I learnt about many dimensions of power and their misuse in society and how to treat them not only inside the household but also in the bigger community,” says Ranu. 

Historically, the ethnic minorities in the Cox's Bazar region are the most disadvantaged in the area, as they lack access to quality education and health care and are frequently burdened by social taboos and misconceptions regarding the rights of women and girls to education, employment, and the right to participate in decision making.

She further adds, "I want to pass on those skills and information to my children so they don't have to face the hardships that my generation did. I want them to grow up to be resilient, aware of their rights, and able to speak out for themselves.” 

@UNFPA Bangladesh/Farjana Sultana
@UNFPA Bangladesh/Farjana Sultana
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Organization Information


Location: New York, NY - USA
Project Leader:
Olivia Ryan
New York , NY United States
$7,240 raised of $50,000 goal
76 donations
$42,760 to go
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