ACTNews, JAKARTA – Stranded and hopeless in Bangladesh border is a common fate of 420 thousand new Rohingya refugees. Combined with more 500 thousand refugees who have settled in Bangladesh’s makeshift camp, almost 1 million people stay in Bangladesh. The number matches the population of a city in Indonesia, according to Indonesia’s Regional Constitution No. 28/2008 regarding city classification.
Ironically, they are not part of a modern city. Deep in statelessness, they live without exercising their rights. They keep their expectation low: just surviving in shabby camps. However, this is not the life they want to leave as legacy for their future generations. Just like us, they want more.
Since the latest exodus flux came in Bangladesh in late August, Indonesians never once turned their eyes away from ongoing humanitarian crisis. Indonesians, along with Aksi Cepat Tanggap, keep distributing emergency aids for thousands of Rohingya new refugees. On Sunday (24/9), groceries, logistic, and medical aids have reached out to almost 60 thousands new refugees in 10 settlement areas in Bangladesh.
For one month, Indonesians have guided Rohingya new refugees for their survival in the border. However, the effort doesn’t automatically help them to rebuild empowered lives. It takes a faithful, sustainable effort to help these Rohingya refugees in becoming an empowered community in this globalizing world.
According to Global Humanity Response Director, Bambang Triyono, these efforts have been packed in Recovery and Reconstruction Programme for Rohingya.
“With this long-term programme, we want to empower at least 1000 families of Rohingya refugees. If one family has five to seven members, many Rohingya will benefit from this programme,” Bambang explained.
Construction of 1000 Integrated Community Shelter becomes the first step of rebuilding these refugees’ lives in Bangladesh. Bambang added, these 1000 shelters would be built according to a neighborhood plan. This neighborhood will have 10 blocks of shelters.
“So, each block will have 100 shelter unit. Each block will also have mosques and madrasah to facilitate refugees in studying or worshipping,” Bambang detailed.
Additionally, about 500 temporary shelters will be prioritized for orphans who lost their parents on their escape to Bangladesh. This neighborhood will be built in October, projected to be finished in three months (October-December 2017).
To fulfill these refugees’ daily needs, Humanity Card would be their access. This programme, have been running since early 2017, will facilitate refugees to shop primary needs in some stores affiliated with HC. In the near future, these primary needs would be supplied by Humanity Distribution Center (HDC).
“It’s just like warehouse. This HDC will supply primary goods to stores affiliated with HC,” said Bambang.
Our effort doesn’t stop here. Humanity Ship for Rohingya will sail immediately, bringing 10.000 tons of rice to supply thousands of Rohingya refugees.
For economic empowerment, ACT plans on building some markets in 100 refugee settlement points. Its goal is to prepare the refugees to live independently and build entrepreneurship. One thousand hectares of land is also currently being prepared for these refugees’ use: stockbreeding, farming and plantation.
“This is a huge effort, and ACT tries our best to rebuild the lives of Rohingya refugees. We want them to be independent and empowered, despite their status as refugees abroad,” said Bambang.
Our hope for them to return to their homeland and having a citizenship, however, is still intact. While advocacy for their rights is progressing, helping them to become more empowered right now is the best choice.
With a more empowered condition, once they have the chance to return to their homeland, they will be ready and ripe, physically, mentally and economically. This will become an investment for a better future for them, and obviously, a long and intricate way for us.