Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children

by JAAGO Foundation
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Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children
Education for Everyone
Education for Everyone

At the beginning of 2018, JAAGO introduced the Safe Haven project where it helped to support 500 traumatized Rohingya children physically and mentally by providing them with a safe space where they can be engaged in regular childhood social experiences, learning, and emotional healing.

 

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, all the learning centers were closed. All the activities were suspended except food distribution and medical facilities. But we have been in touch with our students and made sure everyone is safe and staying in their house. We started collecting data and making a plan to implement Telephone education in the camp.

 

Our government has already enabled a 3G/4G network there. So now we are planning to introduce an online teaching-learning process over there after getting approval from RRRC. This process is safe, cost-effective, easy to implement, and has a great monitoring system developed by JAAGO. But in order to introduce this interactive, blended online teaching-learning process over the camp, we need to digitize our learning centers first. 

 

Currently, our Project Officer is getting Master Training in Online teaching-learning process and assessment. Later the Project Officer will train our teachers on online modality. And we are still in communication on how we can start the teaching-learning process again in the camp.

 

This journey to provide Rohingya children with a safe abode couldn't have been possible without our NGO partners, corporates, donors, and well-wishers who have been our companions in the path of fulfilling this dream. Thank you for your generous support and for putting a smile on the faces of 500 Rohingya children. We would love to express our appreciation on behalf of them. Our current activities still require a lot of support and we are on the way to developing the project even better. So we sincerely request our well-wishers and donors to keep supporting us. Your help and support have always inspired us to move forward and do better.

An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
Empowering the Rohingya Children through Knowledge
Empowering the Rohingya Children through Knowledge
Education for the Refugee Rohingya Children
Education for the Refugee Rohingya Children
An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
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An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile

The Rohingya crisis is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of this century. The government of Bangladesh has already taken many initiatives to secure the lives of one million Rohingyas who have been staying here as refugees for the past three years. Amid all this chaos, maybe we are forgetting that a whole new generation of Rohingya children has been missing out on their childhood. They have hardly got any incentives for a good life, let alone education facilities. For introducing them with a better childhood, JAAGO Foundation started its Safe Haven Project (SHP) for Rohingya children back in 2018. JAAGO has always visioned of a better tomorrow, where every child will get a chance to fulfill their colorful dreams, no matter what background they come from.

The Safe Haven Project aims to provide these disenfranchised children with a safe abode, where they can heal from the trauma of this genocide, where they can experience a normal childhood; where they can participate in various social activities & learning processes.

 

Who are the Rohingya people?

The Rohingya are an ethnic group from Myanmar, the majority of whom are Muslim, unlike the other Burmese people, who mostly practice Buddhism. They lived in the northern part of the Rakhine State for generations. In the 2014’s census in Myanmar, they were not officially recognized as an ethnic group and hence are not eligible to call themselves as the citizens of Myanmar. 

As their legal rights were clearly declined by the state, gradually they became subject to different types of exploitation & abuse such as human trafficking, child labor, child marriage, gender-based oppression, etc. In August 2017, the armed conflict ensued in the Rakhine state, which ultimately turned into a massive genocide and forced the Rohingya to leave their motherland to save their lives.



Rohingya Children: Scapegoats of this crisis

Rohingya children are described as some of the most marginalized on the planet. Approximately half of a million are children in the refugee camps, who have already witnessed a ruthless genocide in such an early stage of their life. Many of them came here alone, witnessing the murder of their dear ones right before their eyes. They were severely traumatized and were in need of immediate medical attention. Later various organizations came forward to help these children heal from their bloody experience. JAAGO’s Safe Haven Project had a similar motive as well.

75% of the newborns are delivered in unsafe and unsanitary shelters. Most of the children suffer from communicable diseases such as diarrhea and respiratory infections. Acute malnutrition and lack of proper medications are some of the obstacles there to a healthy generation. Most of them are deprived of access to formal education or vocational training and are subject to neglect, abuse, sexual violence, early marriage, etc. These children need your constant love and support to move forward and have a normal life, which Safe Haven is committed to providing them with.

 

JAAGO’s Contribution: The Safe Haven Project (SHP)

Back in 2018, JAAGO felt the importance of creating a safe platform for Rohingya children, suffering from the acute post-traumatic stress disorder. And that’s how the Safe Haven Project started its journey. Now it is providing support to 500 children in Kutupalong camp, where there are 244 boys and 256 girls. This project consists of carefully designed learning processes, suitable for kids living amid such crises and proper counseling to alleviate or counteract post-traumatic stress disorder.

This project focuses on boosting trauma management, cognitive understanding, emotion regulation, social skills development, conflict resolution, and diligence. Ensuring personal protection and proper hygiene lessons are also part of day-to-day activities.

Safe Haven also provides these children with counseling to support their different psychological needs. The goal is to make them feel safe and become a child again. A counselor visits the camp once in a month to have private sessions with the children. Also, local Rohingya staff have been employed to engage with them.

 

Safe Haven Project during this Pandemic

For the last 5 months, all the learning centers were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Kutupalong camp was sealed off and all the activities were suspended except food distribution and medical facilities. But our teachers have been in touch with their students and made sure everyone is staying safe. Currently, we are collecting data and making a plan to implement the ‘Tel-Ed’ program into the camp.

Our government has already enabled a 3G/4G network there. So now we are planning to introduce an online teaching-learning process over there after getting approval from RRRC. This process is safe, cost-effective, easy to implement, and has a wonderful monitoring system developed by JAAGO. But in order to introduce this interactive, blended online teaching-learning process over the camp, we need to digitize our learning centers first. 

Our partners and donors previously helped us provide nutritious food to the refugees and immunize them with vaccination. So we are hopeful that you will extend your helping hand this time as well, to resume our educational activities under this program.

 

Gratitude Note

The goal of our project is to provide the Rohingya children with a safe abode, where they can experience a normal life again with the help of proper counseling and quality education. This journey couldn't have been possible without our patrons, NGO partners, corporates, donors, and well-wishers who have been our companions in the path of fulfilling this dream. Thank you for your generous support to our Safe Haven Project, which has been able to put a smile on the faces of 500 Rohingya children. We would love to express our appreciation on behalf of them. Our current activities still require a lot of support and we are on the way to developing the project even better. So we sincerely request our well-wishers and donors to keep supporting us. Your help and support have always inspired us to move forward and do better.

An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
Empowering the Rohingya Children through Knowledge
Empowering the Rohingya Children through Knowledge
An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
An Initiative to Make the Rohingya Children Smile
Education for Everyone
Education for Everyone
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The Pandemic & the star-crossed Rohingya Kids
The Pandemic & the star-crossed Rohingya Kids

Since the ethnic cleansing started the Rakhine State of Myanmar in August 2017, around one million Rohingya has fled and overcrowded in camps of Bangladesh. This exodus has become one of the fastest-growing refugee crises in the world. The world media gave the incident widespread coverage, many heartfelt documentaries were produced, and many fact-finding missions and interviews of the victims were recorded. These will remain as a testimony for human history and evidence for the quest of justice in the coming days.

During this crisis, JAAGO took an initiative to help these Rohingya refugee children to develop their disturbed mental situation and introduced Safe Haven project where it helped to support 500 traumatized Rohingya children physically and mentally by providing them with a safe space where they can be engaged in regular childhood social experiences, learning, and emotional healing. To resolve the crucial situation of traumatized Rohingya children, the Safe Haven project aims to provide a chance to develop their motor skills and analytical skills as well as the space of expressing their feelings and experiences. It helps to develop the basic life-skills of 500 traumatized children through socio-emotional learning intervention strategy.

In order to achieve mental relief and a better standard of life, the Safe Haven designed two-hour sessions that include a 15-minute opening activity, 20-min freehand exercise, 70-minute games, and creative activity, and finally a 15-minute closing activity. Personal safety and hygiene lessons are a part of everyday activity. Today, through Safe Haven, these Rohingya children can sing, play, and learn for a little while and become a child again.

 

COVID-19: The fate of the Rohingya Community:

 The government enforced a nationwide lockdown on March 26 in an effort to check the spread of the disease. Despite the shutdown, the number of cases has risen sharply in recent days and the daily death toll and new infection number are increasing everyday. As of the western countries even after being developed, they are still paying a heavy toll.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, international aid organizations have been warning that an outbreak in the world's refugee camps could have catastrophic consequences. To prevent such a scenario, Bangladesh has largely sealed off the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar. People are allowed to move in and out of the camp only when it is strictly necessary. Police have set up roadblocks and patrols to enforce the restrictions on public movement.

Being the largest refugee camp, As many as 60,000-90,000 people are jammed into each square kilometer, with families of up to a dozen sharing small shelters which is the biggest threat to the whole community. This is very unfortunate to find out that lately the novel coronavirus has been detected in one of the camps, according to officials. As a result of the confirmed case, more than 855,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in the camp and over 440,000 residents living in the immediate vicinity of the overcrowded camp now face the threat of being infected with the coronavirus.

But the light of hope is in recent weeks, aid has been preparing for an outbreak as best as they can. Medical personnel has been trained and isolation centers have been set up. A camp with 1,700 beds is planned and several hundred beds are already operational. There is an intensive care unit with ten ventilators.

The Safety of Safe Haven during Pandemic

Despite all the efforts, additional resources are needed to prevent a catastrophe. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, sanitary facilities in the camp were already inadequate, with many families sharing toilets and often long lines building up at access points to drinking water and washrooms. It is impossible to maintain physical distancing in the cramped accommodation. Under such conditions, rapid transmission of the virus is inevitable. But every time it comes to the Safe Haven Children, they have been aware of the hygiene. Although the access has been limited lately, our team is trying the best to stay updated with the kids and their families.

 

The Continuous Support of Food & Health

The Rohingya in Cox's Bazar have already suffered unspeakable trauma. Over time JAAGO has tried to provide them with nutritious food and immunize them with vaccination. Needless to say, the support we have received from all our partners and donor in this journey has been the main powerhouse for us to make the poor faces smile and growing them strong. Due to the new protocol by Government, it is being a challenge to reach there but still, government’s new directive protects “critical” services including health, nutrition, water, food, gas, hygiene, sanitation, waste treatment, identification of new arrivals, and “ensuring quarantine.”  Before this whole scenario appeared the Safe haven Children were receiving the proper balance diet and the education that was continuously being monitored by our team that the whole support system is helping these young minds grow. The Rohingya Refugee Response Committee assures that by the mid of June the education supplies and the curriculum shall reach the Rohingya children Through mobile, radio, and internet. This flames the blaze of hope that soon this whole situation will come to a structure, just the way the whole planet has adapted the “New Normal”.

 

Thank You Note

We are very grateful to the donors of this project as they are not only helping these young minds to germinate, but also paving a way for their better future. Our current activities still require a lot of support and we are on the way to develop the project even better. We have come a long way, but our ambitions are high and we aspire to build the capacity of these young migrant children and provide ventilation to them through the power of education and extra-curricular activities. We sincerely request our well-wishers and donors to keep supporting us. We hope you all stay safe with your nearest and dearest ones!

COVID-19 : The fate of the Rohingya Community
COVID-19 : The fate of the Rohingya Community
COVID-19 : The fate of the Rohingya Community
COVID-19 : The fate of the Rohingya Community
COVID-19 : The fate of the Rohingya Community
COVID-19 : The fate of the Rohingya Community
The Safety of Safe Haven during Pandemic
The Safety of Safe Haven during Pandemic
The Continuous Support of Food & Health
The Continuous Support of Food & Health
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Beyond Survival
Beyond Survival

For the last three years, stateless Rohingya refugees have been focusing on solely the aspect of survival. According to a UNICEF report, more than 900,000 stateless Rohingya refugees living in the camps of the Cox’s Bazar district in southeast Bangladesh have been in shortage of basic nutrition, health care, water, sanitation, hygiene and most importantly, education.

Intervention of a number of UN agencies and international organizations has undeniably upgraded the recovery process of the Rohingya refugees. New infrastructures, toilets, food, water have been ensured for a large part of the population who fled persecution and violence in Myanmar. Yet the root cause of the violence that affected the lives of these refugees remains unresolved. The refugee crisis crosses the second year and it is very well understood that the children and young people are considerably more vulnerable and they both want and need more than just survival. Conditions have not been established that would allow the refugees to return to their homes. As a result, the Rohingya refugees will remain in Bangladesh for the immediate future. The gap in their education will certainly create obstacles for them in future. JAAGO Foundation’s project “Safe Haven for Rohingya Children” is working to provide them a sense of stability and protect them from the suffering of the violence and trafficking they have faced at a very early age.

Infrastructure development for the children

The Rohingya in Myanmar are either confined to camps or live in partially destroyed villages, denied the opportunity for work, formal education, and freedom of movement. Monsoon season is now underway, introducing the threat of cyclones to an already vulnerable population. So authorities in Cox’s Bazar are turning to a new solution to ease the suffering of refugees: infrastructure.

The living conditions were unbearable in the Rohingya camps in the beginning. They lived together in a “mega-camp”consisting of temporary houses, built with materials that were available at the crisis period i.e., bamboo and tarpaulins. The emergency management of the camp rapidly turned it into a highly congested space with no proper facilities such as water or electricity. In the Safe Haven camp, we have been working on constructing a proper classroom and stable environment for the children. During this quarter, we have been able to construct proper classrooms, including white board and library and also install solar panels in the camp in order to receive adequate electric supply.

Evaluating the progress of their knowledge

The Government of Bangladesh does not permit providing regular education curriculum for Rohingya refugee children and without adequate support, children face the prospect of growing up without an education and without the means to process the horrific events they have lived through. In order to improve the level of the education for the Rohingya children, we try to deliver quality English, Mathematics, Burmese, Art and General Knowledge based on the UNICEF recommended curriculum. While concluding the 2019 session we have taken assessments of the children to evaluate their development throughout the year. We have divided the children into 4 different age groups starting from 4 years and above. Compared to the progress of last year, in 2019 they have done much better on average.This explains that not only do children benefit from the daily opportunity of learning; they are also much able to express themselves through writing, drawing and also have the opportunity to enjoy being children.

Doze of Immunization to ensure good health

Cholera is an extremely virulent disease that can cause severe watery diarrhea. It takes between 12 hours and five days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water. Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated. 

A multifaceted approach is the key to control cholera, and to reduce deaths. A combination of surveillance, water, sanitation and hygiene, social mobilization, treatment, and oral cholera vaccines are used. Despite the progress and efforts made by humanitarian agencies to improve water and sanitation conditions in Rohingya camps, cholera remains a concern. Oral cholera vaccination is the most effective way to protect such a large section and reduce the risk of disease outbreak. In December 2019, World Health Organization (WHO) declared that more than 6,35,000 Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh host community will be vaccinated against cholera in a month-long campaign. This is the 5th round of cholera vaccination since they arrived in Bangladesh in 2017. With the support by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, World Health Organization, UNICEF the children in our Safe Haven camp also received cholera vaccination to protect them from this acute diarrheal disease. This campaign was monitored by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC), WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (iccdr,b) and other partners.

Thank You Note

We are very grateful to the donors of this project as they are not only helping these young minds to germinate, but also paving a way for their better future. Our current activities still require a lot of support and we are on the way to develop the project even better. We have come a long way, but our ambitions are high and we aspire to build capacity of these young migrant children and provide ventilation to them through the power of education and extra-curricular activities. We sincerely request our well-wishers and donors to keep supporting us!  

Infrastructure development for the children
Infrastructure development for the children
Evaluating the progress of their knowledge
Evaluating the progress of their knowledge
Evaluating the progress of their knowledge
Evaluating the progress of their knowledge
Doze of Immunization to ensure good health
Doze of Immunization to ensure good health
Doze of Immunization to ensure good health
Doze of Immunization to ensure good health
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Protecting their Lives, Minds and the Future
Protecting their Lives, Minds and the Future

The Rohingya people have faced decades of systematic discrimination, statelessness and targeted violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Such oppression and mistreatment has forced Rohingya women, girls, boys and men into Bangladesh for many years, with significant spikes following violent attacks in 1978, 1991-1992, and again in 2016. The greatest influx of Rohingya people into Bangladesh happened in 2017 when 745,000 Rohingya, including 400,000 children have fled into Cox’s Bazar.

During the displacement of the Rohingya people, it was the children who caught attention of many people. Almost 60% of the refugees were children who had experienced major violence and brutality at a tender age. In their own country they had no legal identity and after displacement to Bangladesh, Rohingya children are not being registered at birth, having no identity or citizenship. It is not known to anyone for how long they will be displaced. Meanwhile, the children are unable to receive formal education which keeps them deprived of the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in future.

With the support of the government and humanitarian partners, refugees have gained access to some basic services. Yet, major dependency remains on short-term aid because of them living in unstable conditions in the congested camps which are hugely difficult and sometimes dangerous during monsoon and cyclone seasons.

JAAGO introduced the Safe Haven project for the psychological and spiritual betterment of the Rohingya children in 2018. The traumatized Rohingya children needed a safe space where they can be engaged in regular childhood social experiences. The concept was to provide learning opportunities for them and heal them emotionally as much as possible. After receiving the GlobalGiving Feedback Fund Grant, JAAGO has been successfully initiating and integrating feedback from 500 Rohingya Children and 1,000 parents.

A Doze of Nutrition Everyday

Since past two years, malnutrition among Rohingya children has been one of the most critical considerations. Long journey across the border and poor living conditions in the camp are thought to be the key cause of malnutrition among Rohingya children. According to UNICEF’s nutrition specialist Joseph Senesie “If the child is not fed well, the child’s brain will not develop well and that will affect their educational consequences and that will affect their productive capacities as they grow up in the future.”

In Cox’s Bazar, there are 85 nutrition centers across the camps. The children receive therapeutic food and they are examined in the cases of severe malnutrition. Although there are fruit and vegetable stands in the camps, but many families can’t afford them because they have no income and depend solely on the aid. Understanding the importance of proper nutrition, JAAGO provides nutritious food every day to the 500 children under the Safe Haven project. The food menu contains proteins, carbohydrates and fruits. During the time of Ramadan, the children also received nutritious snacks during iftar.

Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening their Imagination

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Imagination is the endless door of possibilities. It is where thinking outside the box begins for child development. Imaginative and creative play is how children learn about the world. They tend to see things from a very different perspective and form pictures in their minds and that is what makes them different. At times, parents and adults nurture children's imaginations and take joy in their creative thoughts and acts. But unfortunately, the Rohingya children have been deprived of many creative joys.

As JAAGO works to provide psychological support to these disadvantaged children, regularly games and art classes are arranged for them. The children often team up together to play both outdoor and indoor games. Games such as “Ludo” are very popular among the kids and the teachers at times accompany them which create a very welcoming impact. These children also get a chance to spread colors on their imaginations very frequently. They are provided with notebooks, colors and other stationaries required and asked to draw and bring their imaginations to the papers. These relaxing activities have a very affirmative impact on the minds of these children.

Going an Extra Mile

Although JAAGO does not provide proper educational support to these Rohingya children under the Safe Haven project but we do give them books and a positive environment to thrive in. It is important to create an environment where they feel they need to develop their knowledge and skills for a better future. Hence, there is no other way to encourage them other than offering them books to read. In the light of this thought, recently some bookshelves were setup in the safe space camps where books for their age were kept. They would feel free to come to the safe space camps an read the books according to their interests.

The infrastructure in the Rohingya camps is temporary and highly congested. There is no proper water and sanitation facilities, they are vulnerable to natural disasters and also do not have adequate supply of electricity. To keep the lights and fans in the safe space camps functioning, new solar panels were setup. These solar panels will be very functional and convenient for the children coming to the camps.

Expressing Gratitude

The quality of being generous and kind is not something that everyone has. With the utmost sincerity we at JAAGO would like to convey our gratefulness to our national and international sponsors, corporate partners and donors. Without their contribution our journey to support these Rohingya refugee children would not have progressed. Thank you for contributing for this humanitarian cause and enlighten these children’s lives!

A Doze of Nutrition Everyday
A Doze of Nutrition Everyday
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Going an Extra Mile
Going an Extra Mile
Going an Extra Mile
Going an Extra Mile
Expressing Gratitude
Expressing Gratitude
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Organization Information

JAAGO Foundation

Location: Dhaka - Bangladesh
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @JAAGOFoundation
Project Leader:
Korvi Rakshand
Mr.
Dhaka, Banani Bangladesh
$32,117 raised of $100,000 goal
 
210 donations
$67,883 to go
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