Education is vitally important in the context of the Rohingya camps.
The Rohingya are an ethnic minority from Rakhine state, Myanmar, and have fled to neighboring Bangladesh during several waves of exodus. There are at present 860,175 refugees residing in the Kutupalong Refugee Camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; this is more Rohingyans than currently live in Myanmar. The dense and overcrowded Kutupalong “mega-camp” is the largest refugee camp in the world today.
Education in emergencies provides children with a positive sense of purpose and equips them with the life skills, knowledge, values, attitudes and behaviors that foster critical thinking, empathy and the ability to build communities. Education provides children with life-saving information aimed at building an understanding of their rights and responsibilities and strengthening disaster awareness, hygiene, and other survival skills.
Conversely, the lack of basic education services has lifelong consequences such as - early marriage, child labor, trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse, and increases the likelihood of engaging in harmful activities including criminality.
Children of Adam has played a role in the educational response to the Rohingya crisis since October 2017, being one of the first NGOs on the ground in the Kutupalong Camp. Our education project comprises of 6 learning centers in the Rohingya Camp and 2 learning centers in the host community, benefitting a total of around 800 children, between the ages of 4 and 14, covering the subjects of English, Burmese (Bengali for host community children), Mathematics, and Life Skills daily. Classes run 6 days per week and sessions are 2 hours long, allowing for up to 90 children to attend class in each learning center daily.
Rohingya and host community children have benefited immensely from Children of Adam’s learning centers, being provided with:
A comprehensive and consistent education
Classes in English, Burmese (Bengali in the host community), Mathematics, and Life Skills, which will raise community literacy rates
A safe place to learn, make friends, and be a child
Nutritional supplements for lacking diets, and
An escape from the harsh realities of life in the refugee camp.
Opportunities for them later in life, both personally and professionally.
Children of Adam’s project intervention in the Rohingya camps is particularly powerful, considering that the Rohingya community has very low literacy rates, and thus our programming is working directly to counter this and change future outcomes for the Rohingya population.