This is a project of HANDS International, a UK registered charity.
For Rohingya living in the camps
of Bangladesh, life consists of handouts. Restricted to their camps, their
rights as refugees are not recognised. They are prevented from receiving
education much beyond primary level, and also from employment in the formal
The distress of fleeing their
home country in the circumstances they did is exacerbated by the conditions Rohingya
face in Bangladesh. Hopes of rehabilitation and attempts to rebuild their lives
are therefore severely constrained.
Starting with one small group,
the survivors of the Tula Toli massacre, we
are exploring ways to support this community in putting itself back together,
by helping meet its needs for health, education and well being.
We are keen to support
initiatives that may lead to their own self-sufficiency and attract investment
to help develop skills. In doing so, we aim to feed into discussion regarding
what a sustainable solution for refugees could look like.
We want to project a vision where
Rohingya refugees are not kept dependent on aid and are able to lead meaningful
lives, engaged and integrated in to the local economy and working alongside
local Bangladeshi people.
Some projects that we have in the
pipeline are: the building of a sewing network, providing machines to women in
their homes and helping the Rohingya to train each other; the distribution of
'shoes that grow'; the establishing of a network of teachers for the home
schooling of children who can't attend school, including an emphasis on
ensuring girls get access to education; assistance for budding entrepreneurs in
starting their own community based enterprises; a language and skills apprenticeship
#HANDS4Rohingya is a project of
the UK registered charity HANDS International. The project is being
coordinated by UK based activist Jamila Hanan and is
overseen by Samad Billoo, founder and trustee of HANDS
International, both of whom work as volunteers on this cause.
Our aid work for the Rohingya
started on a small scale, as personal attempts to meet urgent calls for help,
passed our way by journalists and others. When documentary maker Shafiur
Rahman began to work closely with victims of the Tula Toli
massacre, there were requests for assistance from the survivors. The
#HANDS4ROHINGYA project was born out of this tragedy. We have seen this
community rekindle hope that we would never have imagined possible after what
they have endured. This project is inspired by the hope of survivors.
Working with a close knit and trusted
team, our network is made up of both Rohingya and Bangladeshi locals, living in
or around the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Funds are currently raised on a case
by case basis through crowdfunding. Everything achieved so far has been made
possible through the support of many ordinary people around the world with
their encouragement, donations and ideas. We are excited about what we might
help the Rohingya achieve together. We hope you might feel inspired to lend
your support too and become a part of this growing project to help bring a far
better future for the Rohingya.