From the Field

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee child

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.

Jannatul is a 5-year-old Rohingya refugee girl. Her life was turned upside down when she and her mother fled Myanmar. They settled across the border in Bangladesh in what is now the world’s largest refugee camp.

Jannatul’s name means “heaven,” but her life is anything but heaven.

 

For 12 hours, walk with Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her.

7 a.m.: Jannatul wakes up in a 10-by-10-foot shelter — made of bamboo and a plastic tarp — that she shares with her mother. There’s not much in this simple home beyond basic necessities and the little her mother could carry when they ran for their lives. Jannatul’s father and two younger siblings were killed in the conflict.

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

8 a.m.: Jannatul finds joy in small things like a snack and tea. They remind her of home.

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

9 a.m.: Twice a day, Jannatul visits a religious school in the refugee camp. She survived what one U.N. official described as “textbook ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya — a Muslim minority ethnic group — in Myanmar.

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

10 a.m.: Jannatul enjoys her breakfast. Food means a lot to her — perhaps more than many 5-year-olds. When she and her mother fled Myanmar, they walked for a week in the rain to find safety in Bangladesh. They ate little for three days. Jannatul was extremely weak when another family on the journey shared their rice with her.

 

11 a.m.: Up to 2,000 children on average attend World Vision’s 12 learning centers each week. At the center, Jannatul enjoys looking at picture books and drawing. That’s what we love to see: kids being kids!

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

12 p.m.: In the camp, Jannatul is beginning to recover and can play, laugh, and smile.

 

1 p.m.: At midday, Jannatul enjoys lunch, remembering the fruit she ate back in Myanmar. “At home, we ate mangoes and jackfruit. I miss those,” Jannatul says.

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

2 p.m.: Faith plays an important role in Jannatul’s life. This is her second visit to the religious school she attends twice a day.

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

3 p.m.: Children need to feel safe when they play. At World Vision’s learning centers, Jannatul and her classmates can play and feel free to be kids! “When they come here, they can forget those things. They can have fun,” says Jannatul’s teacher, 20-year-old Farjana Faraz Tumpa. “When they come here, they feel good. They are treated nicely.”

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

4 p.m.: Jannatul enjoys helping her mother with daily chores. She buys potatoes and helps collect water for cooking and cleaning.

5 p.m.: Jannatul and her mother, Salima, chat during dinner, sharing highlights from their day.

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

6 p.m.: Salima holds Jannatul as she finally falls asleep after a long day of playing, praying, and chores. They are thankful every day that they still have each other.

For 12 hours, we walk with 5-year-old Jannatul through what a typical day might look like for her as a Rohingya refugee child in a camp in Bangladesh.
©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren

Thank you for walking with us through a day in Jannatul’s life. If you would like to make a difference for Jannatul and other refugee children who need our help, please donate today!

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