The Rohingya crisis started decades ago, but the intensity and the influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh since last year has been unprecedented. Noor Nahar is a Rohingya woman in her thirties, who has lived in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh since she was seven years old. Today she is working as a mentor to newly arriving Rohingya women refugees as part of a UN Women-supported programme.
I came to Bangladesh many years ago. I was only seven years old and all I remember is crossing the river on a boat. My mother said that the Myanmar military had killed my nine-year-old brother, so we had to leave our home.
I used to think that one day Myanmar will take us back and the violence will stop. But I don’t see any improvement of the situation in Myanmar. The military torture is worse and the number of Rohingyas fleeing is much more than what it was during our time. I have heard that many villages in Myanmar are now empty.
Being a refugee myself, I know the struggles that other Rohingya women face in the camps. I come to the Multi-Purpose Women’s Centre four days in a week and teach tailoring to the women who are new. Since I have been here for a long time, I am part of the Women Support Group and I provide information to other refugee women, refer them to appropriate services, and I talk to them. Women need support from each other to cope with this crisis.
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