"By Nusrat Daud Pritha"
Rahama is a bright 12-year old who came to Bangladesh nearly a year ago and unlike many other girls in the camp, Rahama likes to wear make-up and stay prim and proper. She enjoys playing with her friends and going to school. A year before they escaped Myanmar, their schools were closed down and she could not go to school, meet her friends or play freely. “TheMogs(non-Muslim Myanmar nationals) would chase and disturb us when we played outside.” she said.
While fleeing from Myanmar, Rahama lost all her friends in the journey. But after being here for months, she was able to locate some ofthem. Many of her friend are living in Kutupalong camp. She has already visited them with her father. Rahamalikes the school in the camp because the students receive more attention and care from the teachers than where she used to study in Myanmar. She also likes visiting the Women Friendly Space (WFS) with her mother as she can play Ludo, her favorite board game. She aspires to be a teacher when she grows up, just like the ones in the camps.
As part of protection and gender based violence (GBV), CARE has set up 5 WFSs and 2 information booths. The WFS provide a space for women to find refuge, rebuild community, seek GBV related and other counselling as required. Materials for recreational activities including indoor games and trainings are also available in these centers. The direct outreach till date is over 29,000 women across the 5 WFSs. For the open space and for the gaming activities, young women, adolescent girls and young children also enjoy coming to the WFS.
While most adults focus on citizen rights when asked about repatriation, Rahama’s demand is very simple, “I will only like to return if I can play freely with my friends.”