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Childhood Interrupted


Childhood Interrupted - Children's voices from the Rohingya refugee crisis

At least 688,000 refugees have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state, following an extreme escalation of violence, and have sought safety in neighbouring Bangladesh. More than half of them are under 18.

The Rohingya refugee crisis is a children's emergency.

Childhood Interrupted reports the views, hopes and desires of children affected by the Rohingya crisis. This qualitative research was conducted in partnership with World Vision International and Save the Children. 

The findings are presented in 2 ways:

  • Part I, My life in the camp, is a fictional account written from children’s perspectives. It takes the reader through a day in the life of children in the camps, touching on their day-to-day activities, experiences and challenges, based on the children’s testimonies and key findings.
  • Part II presents the consolidated analysis from the children’s consultation exercise.

Extract of Part I: My life in the camp

Although the characters are fictional, their experiences are real and are based on testimonies and perceptions of the children and women who took part in the consultation.

Rehana is a young girl, living with her parents, grandparents, brother Faisal and younger sister Aziza. This is what she says:

  • When we have enough food, she [my mother] usually prepares a small breakfast for my dad and Faisal before they go to the mosque. My grandparents, Aziza and I normally eat breakfast once they have left, but not today, because we have no more food.
  • We usually don’t go to the toilets or the tube wells to wash. I feel uncomfortable when men see me go to the toilets and there are no safe and private spaces for girls and women to wash.
  • I stay in the tent during the day to help my mother with chores. My sister and I are scared to leave the tent because we think it’s dangerous to do so.
  • The food we receive will not last long enough, so sometimes we can only eat twice a day. Sometimes smaller families share their food with us if we really need extra rice or lentils.
  • I’ve been feeling weak and sick lately.  Because of my cough, my mother and father took me to the health centre last week.
  • Woman stands outside her temporary shelter in Balukhali camp.
    There is no way to lock our tent and our neighbours have been robbed before. I have trouble falling asleep at night because I am so scared of kidnappers and thieves.
  • Prayer time is my time for peace.  The familiar words bring a sense of calm and connectedness of what holds us together as a family, and as a community.

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