A refugee mother finds help next door
“When I am here, sewing, I forget all my worries, all my losses. I feel happy.”
When violence broke out in Rakhine, Myanmar in August 2017, 25-year-old Noor lost contact with her husband. She and her two daughters were forced to flee to Bangladesh alone.
Upon her arrival, Noor searched the refugee camps for her husband, but she could not find him. She says she was very afraid to live alone without him, and feared for the safety of her daughters. As the days went on, she became frustrated as she tried to work out how she would support her family without him.
The answer was not far away.
Since Noor lived next door to the Safe Space for Women and Girls run by CARE in camp 15, she learned about what was being offered there during the inauguration ceremony.
She started going to the Safe Space, where she shared her challenges, experiences and needs with the psychosocial counsellor. Talking about it made her feel better, and through their kindness and advice, Noor started to regain some sense of wellbeing. She attended awareness sessions and learned about gender-based violence and protection. Noor also brought her daughters to the Safe Space, where they learned about the hazards of early marriage.
Back in Myanmar, Noor had learned some sewing skills, and now she could provide training to other women using the machine in the CARE facility. Noor’s dream is to buy a sewing machine and become financially independent so that she can provide for her daughters.
Noor, who calls the Safe Space a shantir ghor or house of peace, says, “When I am here, sewing, I forget all my worries, all my losses. I feel happy.”