AAR operates Child Friendly Space in camp

In Cox’s Bazar district, southeastern Bangladesh, over one million Muslim minority who were forcibly displaced from Rakhine State of Myanmar, are now staying. AAR Japan [Association for Aid and Relief, Japan] has been operating “Child Friendly Space” (CFS) where children can play and learn in peace, also “Woman Friendly Space” (WFS) for women in two camps.

Refugee kids are gathering at Child Friendly Space (CFS) in Jadimura camp
(November 27st,2018)

"I can enjoy with friends here"

In the final week of November 2018, the opening ceremony of CFS was held at Jadimura and Alkali camp in the Teknaf region of southernmost Bangladesh, where children and their parents, government officials, UN officials and representatives of displaced people attended and celebrated the start of the program lively. A lovely, bright blue CFS facility has an open space of approximately 50, small office and counseling room, latrines, water supply system and solar panels and so on.
A 12 years old girl, Bibi who registered to Jadimura CFS said, “I am glad to have such a beautiful facility. I went to an elementary school in Myanmar, but that was not like this CFS. I feel at ease here. I would like to learn English and draw pictures“. Ahmed,45 years old Madrasa (Islamic school) teacher said, “Our children have been living in a harsh environment for over a year. We welcome a place where kids can have fun. It’s very helpful and meaningful that children learn how to avoid any kind of risk"
One day at the beginning of December, around 50 children aged 9 to 12 participated in a various program that took place in Jadimura CFS, playing with toys, drawing pictures, learning English alphabet and joined hygiene promotion sessions, totally for 2 hours.

CFS in Jadimura camp(November 27th,2018)

Learning how to protect yourself from danger

Among the 1 million displaced people, 55% are children under 18 years old. As support for the field of education, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and NGOs are operating the learning center (temporary school). CFS isn’t school which focuses on education, but is aimed at protection of vulnerable children in camps. A total of 200 children from 5 to 18 years old are registered in 2 CFSs operated by AAR, and 3 classes are organized for each age group. On weekdays (Sunday-Thursday) CFS offers a 2-hour program for each class, in addition to basic Myanmar language and English, math, music and art, sport.  Also, a major feature is teaching the importance of protecting themselves from ill effects such as illegal drugs, human trafficking, domestic violence and so on. AAR arrange over 10 staff including psychological counselor, volunteer for each facility and support children in the psychological aspect.
 In their villages, Rakhine State, many children can’t complete even primary school.  Because most of their parents are poor farmers, fishermen or daily workers, they don't afford to pay for teacher’s salary and textbooks. For some children who come to CFS, this is the first time to learn a lot with the same generation friends in the classroom. The existence of bright and cheerful children is the only hope in uncertain life in camps.

Poem class at CFS in Ali Khali camp (December 3th,2018)

Facilities for women also opened

AAR is also operating 2 Women Friendly Space (WFS) for women in the same camps as CFS. In the traditional and conservative Islamic society, women have few opportunities to go out and gather freely. Those WFS provide them a valuable opportunity to gather and enjoy by themselves. In addition to creative activities such as handicrafts, work therapy, hygiene promotion, in order to cope with serious problems such as domestic violence and sexual crimes, psychological counselors are stationed at WFS. AAR cooperate with specialized external organizations in the protection sector to protect women victims.
Refugee kids are playing with toys at CFS in Ali Khali camp(December 3th,2018)