It’s a little over one year since the beginning of Myanmar’s violent ethnic cleansing on the Rohingya, forcibly displacing 725,000, mainly women and children into Bangladesh. Unprepared for such an influx of refugees, and arriving into the country before any infrastructure and services could be set up, not-for-profit organizations rushed to provide humanitarian aid using whatever channels and means possible.
Since the start of the crisis, Carry the Future has been working with other non-government organisations (NGOs) to support the Rohingya. It’s a way for us to take your contributions and provide physical aid to those who need it—through organizations who are on the ground, understand the language and culture, and can distribute on our behalf.
One example of our work in Bangladesh is through our partner Center for Social Integrity (CSI)– a Rohingya-led, international organization focused on protecting, building peace and promoting diversity and tolerance amongst ethnic communities from Myanmar.
CSI proactively worked with women living in refugee camps to identify what types of humanitarian items they needed most. To help improve their quality of day to day living conditions, CSI used focus groups. By including refugees in the decision-making process, CSI empowers them, helping them retain dignity.
Through your help, Carry the Future committed $25,000 to purchase and distribute 1,000 hygiene kits. Just last month, CSI distributed the final 500 hygiene kits on our behalf – specifically designed to support extremely vulnerable female-headed households living in the Rohingya refugee camps.
Each hygiene kit contained:
- Antiseptic soap for bathing
- Laundry soap
- Plastic water bucket
- Oral saline
- Water pot with reusable carry bag
Making it even more meaningful, the kits were distributed by ‘Peace Builder’ volunteers – newly arrived refugee youth and women who CSI trains to become community leaders.
The Peace Builder volunteers identified the most vulnerable female-headed households and widows living in their camp blocks. These women often fall through the cracks of humanitarian aid provision and need necessities such as hygiene items and protective items for the upcoming monsoon season.
As well as distributing the hygiene kits, the Peace Builders provided health promotion activities, allowing for CSI to follow up with refugees after distribution to ensure proper usage of all items in the kit and the chance to learn new ways to improve sanitary conditions.
Help us to provide humanitarian aid to those women and families who need it so much. Your small contribution adds up to giving someone a bottle of shampoo and a bar of soap, to make their day just a little bit more tolerable, despite the atrocity of the situation.
Click here to make a donation to Carry the Future.
Written by Melissa Francis