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Shakib seeks support for Rohingya children

© UNICEF Bangladesh/2017/Sonnet
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and cricket icon Shakib Al Hasan amid Rohingya children at a UNICEF-supported Child Friendly Space in Kutupalang in Cox’s Bazar recently.

By Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury

Cox’s Bazar, 23 September 2017: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and cricket superstar Shakib Al Hasan sought greater support from all quarters for the Rohingya people, especially the children and the women, for successfully dealing with this humanitarian crisis.

The national cricket icon flew in from Dhaka on September 23 and came straight from the Cox’s Bazar airport to Kutupalang Makeshift Settlement to see for himself the plight of the Rohingya refugees and observe UNICEF response.  

Roaming around the camp, he said, it is quite obvious that the worst sufferers of this human tragedy are the children and the women and they desperately need support.

“Bangladesh government, foreign countries and various international and national agencies, private entities and individuals are doing their best to ease the sufferings of the Rohingya refugees. But more support is required. So, to make your donation and support this cause, please visit the UNICEF website and click on the donate button”, he appealed to all.
This is a humanitarian crisis and we as humans should stand by this distressed humanity as they are passing through extremely stressful times, added Shakib.

Time with children

He also visited UNICEF-supported Child Friendly Space managed by CODEC, a partner NGO of UNICEF. The centre filled to its capacity with nearly 150 newly arrived Rongingya children was pulsating with assorted activities of the children.

While some were humming a Rohingya song, some were playing with colourful building blocks and other recreational materials, and some other children were deeply engrossed in drawing and painting.
While briefing Shakib, officials from CODEC, described to him how the newly arrived Rohingya children are taught to cope with the trauma of displacement and separation through peer interaction, recreational activities and psychosocial counselling.

Closely observing the activities, Shakib said: “These children are desperately in need of help. The support they are getting here is very useful for them to overcome the initial shock.”

Later, he also joined a section of the children in a drawing session and spent some playful time with the children. Most of the Rohingya children were quite oblivious of who Shakib was. However, when he drew a cricket bat on a blank piece of paper, all the children clapped with joy, indicating that they know and love the game.                    

For recreational and psychosocial support to the newly arrived Rohingya children, 42 Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs) are now operational. These Child Friendly Spaces are continuously providing psychosocial support to the Rohingya children. The children separated from their families and unaccompanied children are also being identified through mobile Child Friendly Spaces and through community outreach.



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