Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, with Caritas and JRS, sharing with wonderful children

We returned to Bangladesh, after the first training provided in the month of May. On this occasion we went to provide training in the Rohingya refugee camps and to monitor the progress of the Caritas staff with respect to the previous training.

The first day we arrived in Dhaka, and we had to wait for the next day to take another domestic flight to Cox’s Bazar, the nearest town to the refugee camps.

Once there we met again with the staff of JRS Bangladesh, Father Jeya and Father Francis, and with the staff of Caritas Bangladesh, Ambros, Collins and Ram Proshad. That same day we just reviewed the details of the following days, to have everything ready.

So the day of truth arrived, after days of preparation, we arrived with the Caritas van to refugee camp number 4 in the Cox’s Bazar region, in Bangladesh. That field is where Caritas has invested the most effort, and the truth is that we were surprised by the incredible work they had done.

The engineering work was impressive, with robust bridges made with bamboo, roads and stairs made with sacks and pieces of concrete … A magnificent job!

And we headed to the first Child Friendly Space (CFS), a sturdy and spacious cabin with 3 rooms, an office and two classrooms made with bamboo and plastic tarpaulin !!! Fantastic!!!!

The classrooms are super colorful and full of materials, especially made with recycled materials, to make games and learn ingeniously. It is super well assembled !!! and we loved being part of it.

The first workshop Mayra and I had to separate in the two classrooms, in each classroom we had 25 students each from 4 to 6 years … We started with the cavalry … hehehehe … The truth is that it was very easy!

They were eager to work with us, with those faces of amazement and illusion. In some of the children you could still read the experiences they had experienced, the traumatic-emotional difficulties they were still running from …

But in general, they were eager to participate with us throughout the workshop, sharing and learning. At the end of the session, the children queued up to receive a hard-boiled egg and an apple, one of the most important foods of the day, a portion of protein and another of vitamins … That image comforted us at the same time that we broke the heart …

The truth is that the images we saw in the refugee camp were quite hard. The total number of refugees has reached one and a half million, and of this 60% are children …

Walking through the countryside you can see children everywhere! the smallest nudes from the waist down, the little girls of 7 years taking care of their brothers of 3 years … Luckily there are schools in the fields, in addition the CFS of Caritas help to improve the development of the children for a more profitable education, including artistic tools to improve cognitive development.

The following workshops and days were great. In total of 6 CFS we had about 700 students, in age groups of 4 to 6 years, from 6 to 9 years, from 9 to 12 years and from 12 to 16 years … All the groups enjoyed without condition, as always at the beginning little timid, and even with fear of us, people very different from what they are used to see, but quickly, and with some clowning, they gave themselves to enjoy together …

In the end, after making an evaluation, the result was incredible, the staff of Caritas and JRS was delighted to see the children enjoying freely, learning and recovering their smiles, lost for some time.

Once the workshops were held in the refugee camp, we did the training of the staff, both Caritas and the facilitators of the CFS.

The objective was to assess and discuss what was learned in the first training and the experience in the field. The training lasted three days for 30 people, and all the staff was delivered and motivated at all times.

We had a great time, and we managed to adapt all the knowledge to be taught in the CFS of the fields. We all learned and shared together, without reservations, willing and prepared to deliver our experiences to the people who need them.

The final evaluation was super enriching and satisfying, we could go happy and happy, we had done a good job … We can not wait to be able to return to continue the work already begun …

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