When nearly one million Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar for shelter in Bangladesh, it could have resulted in severe consequences. Thankfully, an array of organisations stepped in to tackle the matter through various approaches, which is why the magnitude of the plight remains sustainable. One such example is that of social entrepreneur Korvi Rakshand, the founder of JAAGO Foundation.
“For the last 11 years, whenever there was a disaster, we were amongst the first organisations in Bangladesh to respond. So when the Rohingya refugees came, people expected JAAGO to be there,” informed Korvi. However, a crisis of this capacity needs detailed planning in order to have a positive impact. Therefore, JAAGO Foundation took some time to comprehend and highlight the problem it would target.
“We decided to focus on healing from trauma, because we felt that part was missing from the response. We have a space where 500 children gather, 80 are orphans and the rest have families. We have divided the place accordingly,” said Korvi. “There is a learning zone, where kids learn basic manners and education; the digital zone is where kids can watch cartoons and other things; the other zone is the sports area. All three areas are related to trauma management.”
According to experts, drawing is a rather effective tool adopted by many organisations, to help children overcome trauma. As part of the healing process, when the young ones produced their artworks, it left the team in a state of shock and sorrow at the same time.
“The first things they drew were helicopters and guns,” exclaimed Korvi. “That’s not something that you expect from a kid, but that’s what they saw. Now we are just trying to make their lives a bit normal.”
As part of the programme, trained psychologists from Dhaka visit the children to help them deal with the devastating situations they have faced back home.