Stories from Cox's Bazar - challenges and hope in a Rohingya refugee camp
Jobs are scarce in the camps, especially for women and although a large amount of construction is underway, there are very few female workers employed.
Christian Aid has been working in a cash-for-work programme with the World Food Programme (WFP) which has given over 850 women from refugee and host communities the opportunity to work on different construction sites and receive the same wage as the men. In total, the project has helped over 2,500 refugees and 500 people from the local host community get paid for working.
The aim is to improve the infrastructure of the camp and make it safer for residents, including road and pathway construction, staircase and drainage upgrades, building bamboo bridges and stabilising slopes.
Priority was given to the most vulnerable and where there was a clear need - female-headed households, households where someone had a disability, or there were elderly or chronically ill people.
Our religion prohibits us from working with men. I felt uncomfortable at the beginning. But I continued working as I did not face any problem working here with men
Jobs are scarce in Rohingya refugee camps, especially for people with disabilities as the limited employment opportunities available often demand heavy physical labour.
Christian Aid has also been using cash-for-work projects to help people with disabilities find jobs, earn money and support themselves and their families.
We continue to push for inclusive programming to ensure we ’leave no one behind’, and there are opportunities for all, regardless of – gender, ethnicity, caste, religion, class, sexual orientation, disability or age.
I received equal pay to the other workers. I was not discriminated against because of my disability
- Din Mohammad.
Starting a business is always a challenge, especially when your shop is on a steep, muddy slope in a refugee camp.
Christian Aid, supported by the WFP, implemented a project that began to address the problem of dangerous slopes in the camps, by building 11 pathways and creating or upgrading 39 stairways.
We will fully receive the benefit of these stairways during upcoming monsoon season. The stairs will be much less muddy and getting supplies from the market will be easier
Minara is just one of the people who are enjoying the quicker, safer and easier routes around the camp. It is now far easier for people to get to the camp office to discuss administration issues, the health centres and the local markets.