29 October, 2017
Anowara is 35-years-old and is from a village in Myanmar that endured one of the most brutal attacks being reported by arriving refugees to Bangladesh. Anowara has four children: Mohammed is 10-months-old, Jenara is five-years-old, Rupsada is eight-years-old and Dilara is ten-years-old.
She now lives with her sister-in-law, Dildar, and all their children, in a makeshift shelter in Balukhali refugee camp
Dildar is 47-years-old. Her daughter Minara, 20-years-old, is cooking some curry on an open fire in the shelter. They eat this with the cooked rice provided to them by CARE at a food distribution. The smoke billows around the shelter and everyone’s eyes water from the irritation.
Anowara’s story in her own words said:
“Life is so tough here. It’s unbearably hot, and nearly every day it rains so heavily. We live on such a steep slope, and it is so slippery and I am frightened my children are going to fall and hurt themselves, or worse.
The mud is everywhere. We sleep on the mud, we eat on the mud; the children are covered in mud. And in here, with the fire, there is so much smoke. All the children are coughing and they are getting eye infections. We had to take them to the clinic last week.
We want to cook curries to have with the rice. Without the rice we would be hungry. We only have one meal a day, although the children have something small in the morning too. We are trying to save what we have, as we don’t know how long we will have to stay here.
Our village was attacked. The men showed no mercy. So many people were killed. I can't bear to think about it. I am just grateful that my children escaped with their lives.
All the woman and children were on the beach and they were just shooting, firing until everyone fell down.
Others tried to swim away, but I knew we wouldn’t make it. My children are too young for the strong currents.
We managed to escape and hide in the forest. And then we came here. And now we have to endure this life.”
Interviewed by Kathleen Prior on 1 October 2017. Approved by CARE Bangladesh CD.