"We hope that Rohingya children feel happy seeing our cards and that they think, ‘I received this. There are others out there who care for me.’"
These are the words of Faryal Asim, 14. To mark World Refugee Day, Faryal and a group of friends from Houston, Texas, designed cards expressing their solidarity and support for Rohingya children from Myanmar living as refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Faryal and her friends are members of families who have supported Community Partners International (CPI)'s Rohingya Refugee Response since the beginning of the refugee crisis in August 2017. "After hearing what they were going through we decided to make cards for them to make sure they know to stay brave and courageous and to not give up," Faryal explains.
Community Partners International's founder and Board Chair Dr. Tom Lee is an Emergency Room Physician working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in Los Angeles. In this blog post, he reflects on the challenges he has seen in the last few weeks as the U.S. struggles to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, and shares his concerns about the potential impact of the pandemic on countries with fragile health systems like Myanmar and Bangladesh.
"There is a tendency during times like these to look inwards – to our families and to ourselves. But we must also continue to look outwards – to our friends, our communities, our country and the world."
Community Partners International (CPI)'s Board Chair Dr. Tom Lee, Board President Stan Sze and Executive Director Dr. Si Thura share a message of solidarity and support regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Somudah and her family have been living as refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, since September 2017, after fleeing violence in Myanmar. The family is one of many thousands in Cox’s Bazar served by CPI’s Community Health Volunteer program and other services. To mark the second anniversary of the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, we spoke to Somudah about the difficulties she and her family have faced over the past two years, and her hopes for the future.
For Rohingya refugees from Myanmar sheltering in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the months of June, July and August can be particularly risky. This is the monsoon season and the refugees’ flimsy bamboo and tarpaulin shelters offer little protection against severe weather and flooding. High population density combined with deforestation have created a high risk of landslides. Community Partners International (CPI) trains and equips a network of 80 Rohingya Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to provide emergency preparedness, first response and rescue services to their communities during the monsoon season. CPI’s first responder training covers a range of key topics including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), wound care, hemorrhage control, and safe patient lifting and transportation. CHVs are equipped with rescue kits that include first aid supplies, a life vest, a head torch, stretchers and throw lines. We recently spoke to two CPI-supported CHVs, Rihana and Rohima, about the first response and rescue services that they provide to their community in Camp 1W of the Kutupalong Expansion Site in Cox's Bazar.