As families around the world prepared for Christmas Day, hundreds of thousands of people crammed into makeshift camps in Bangladesh marked 4 months since the mass exodus from Myanmar.
Some 640,000 Rohingya people have crossed the border into the Cox’s Bazar camps since August 25 and a staggering 378,000 are children – more than 60%.
Most of the children arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Many of them have been severely affected by the perilous journey. Yet despite all they have endured, they still find a way to be kids.
Children are crafting toys out of junk they find around the camp: plastic bag kites, balloons on string, little cars fashioned out of plastic bottles.
They are extremely vulnerable, particularly those who are orphaned or separated from family. Conditions are unsanitary, cramped and they are exposed to disease and the elements. Unaccompanied and separated children continue to face the risk of trafficking, early marriage and child labour.
Child protection must be priority
As we look ahead to the next 12 months of this crisis, Plan International’s priority is to ensure children are safe and protected.
Listening to childrens' needs
Plan International has already reached 60,000 people and is working to assist more than 250,000 with a particular focus on child protection, education and safe access to showers and toilets.
Our aid workers have held community consultations, have spoken with children themselves, to ensure they know exactly what is needed and how best to help the young people in the camp.
Helping reunite separated families
Plan International’s protection work is set to include finding and reuniting lost children with loved ones, in partnership with the Department of Social Services of Bangladesh. We will provide counselling for traumatised children and teenagers.
This is crucial work but it is being undertaken in very difficult conditions. Now is the time to show your support.
SUPPORT ROHINGYA CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Please show your support for Rohingya children and families.