These days, 25-year-old Seno Wara has a lot on her mind.
“[How] do I nurture my children? How do I educate my children? Can we survive or not? These things make me think.”
Seno Wara, a Rohingya refugee from Myanmar, fled to Bangladesh together with her husband and their three daughters, ages 7, 3, and 1. They are part of the more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar who fled Bangladesh after violence escalated in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State in 2016. Around 80 percent of these refugees are women and children. Seno Wara’s family now lives in limbo in a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
“We are concerned about the future. We are staying at the camp and my husband does not have a job. What we will do?”
The Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination and statelessness, and spikes in violent attacks have led them to escape to Bangladesh over the years. Due to the most recent rise in violence, people are seeking safety in refugee camps around Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, which hosts more than 900,000 people, making it the world’s largest refugee camp.
Girls are trafficked, girls are tortured. We feel anxious.
Seno Wara says the living situation in the camp is dire. It’s overcrowded, unsanitary, and the food rations are insufficient.
Former CARE Bangladesh Country Director Zia Choudhury called the Myanmar Refugee Crisis is “the worst conditions I have seen” in 20 years of working with refugees.
This desperate standard of living coupled with the uncertainty of the future leave Seno Wara with many questions.
“We do not have any money. What we will do? How will we feed our children? How many years do we have to stay in [the refugee] camp? And also how many years will the government feed us? How we will survive?”