Rohingya Crisis: Two Years On
Tomal*, 14, is one of more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees living in the world’s largest refugee settlement. He and his family fled violence in their home country, Myanmar, and have since lived in camps south of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
Tomal*’s dream is to get an education and become a news reporter. He wants to tell the truth about what’s going on in the world and draw attention to the plight of Rohingya refugees.
Two years ago, more than 730,000 people living in Myanmar fled into neighbouring Bangladesh to escape persecution, joining about 250,000 Rohingya already living there. Today, nearly 1 million people are living in camps with no sign of a return in the near future to the country where they were refused citizenship and had limited access to education and health care.
Tomal* is teaching himself to be a journalist by avidly reading everything he can get his hands on—from pieces of paper left on the roadside, to newspapers and posters on walls. “But no matter what, I read them. To know what is written there and why.”
He is a part of our child protection program and attends our Child Friendly Space, giving him a safe place to play, recover, learn and be a child again. In the two years since the crisis escalated, we have reached more than 745,000 Rohingya refugees and members of the host community, including over 400,000 children.
“If our Rohingya children become educated and become something in their lives… I would be happy,” Tomal explained.
*Names changed for privacy.
Photos: Allison Joyce / Save the Children