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Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children

Since the ethnic cleansing started Rakhine State of Myanmar in August 2017, around one million Rohingya has fled and overcrowded in camps of Bangladesh. This exodus has become one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world. As of 7th January 2018, UNHCR’s Family Counting Exercise720,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance.

JAAGO took an initiative to help these Rohingya refugee children to develop their disturbed mental situation. In the beginning of 2018, JAAGO introduced Safe Haven project where it helped to support 500 traumatized Rohingya children physically and mentally by providing them with a safe space where they can be engaged in regular childhood social experiences, learning and emotional healing. To resolve the crucial situation of traumatized Rohingya children, the Safe Haven project aims to provide a chance to develop their motor skills and analytical skills as well as the space of expressing their feelings and experiences. It helps to develop the basic life-skills of 500 traumatized children through socio-emotional learning intervention strategy.

Dr. Brown from Harvard Medical School and Friends of Waldorf Education provided training to JAAGO teachers and child specialists to handle and support these traumatized children. In order to achieve mental relief and better standard of life, the Safe Haven designed two-hour sessions that include a 15-minute opening activity, 20-min freehand exercise, 70-minute games and creative activity, and finally a 15-minute closing activity. Personal safety and hygiene lessons are a part of the everyday activity. Today, through Safe Haven, these Rohingya children can sing, play and learn for a little while and become a child again.