The Multipurpose Adolescent Centre is a new initiative by Caritas Bangladesh, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the US-based Catholic Relief Service (CRS) for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
It aims to help the psychological development of children, provide counselling and skill development to adolescents, care for expectant mothers, childcare and care for children with special needs, according to UCA News.
The project, launched after a workshop in Cox’s Bazar on November 15, will run until April 2021, covering children aged 12-18. If needs be, the initiative could be extended, officials said.
Staff from Caritas emergency response programme (ERP), representatives from JRS and CRS and officials from the state-run Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission participated in the evaluation of work in 2020 and formulated a strategic plan for 2021.
The work of the Multipurpose Adolescent Centre is not an easy one, given the problems of hygiene and social distancing in the extremely overcrowded conditions in the refugee camps.
Bangladesh on Monday registered 28 more deaths, taking the total to 6,419, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). 2,419 new cases of the virus were confirmed on Monday, bringing the total to more than 449,000.
Who are the Rohingya
The Rohingya are a largely Muslim ethnic group that mostly lives in Western Myanmar’s Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh. Buddhist-majority Myanmar considers the Rohingya illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even though they have lived in the country for generations.
Denied citizenship under a nationality law passed by the government’s military regime in 1982, they are virtually stateless and are denied freedom of movement and other basic rights. The Rohingya were the targets of intercommunal violence in 2012 that killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people from their homes to displacement camps, where most remain.
More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a brutal crackdown by Myanmar’s military in 2017, bringing the total number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to some 1.3 million. They are mostly sheltered in about 30 refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh.