The wide Rohingya refugees camps - located in steep areas made of dirt and mud due to rains - are populated by numerous families and many children living in jury-rigged tents and hovels made of plastic, wood and metallic sheets. There is multitude of children longing for a better future, whose life is threatened daily by the lack of everything, particularly food and drinking water. Their eyes are quite bigger than average and their bodies too thin, exhausted by hunger and fatigue of long marches. By looking in their eyes full of hope and wonder, you can easily sense some sort of never-ending fear. These eyes are perhaps what strikes you the most while walking among the waste areas made of sheds and simple roofs, where the Rohingya are clumped. Someone calls them "refugee camps”, inappropriately.
There are over one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
The majority crossed the border by land, through the only possible passage; the rest reached Bangladesh by sea, fleeing from Myanmar.
Most of them are spending their nights in improvised shelters made of plastic sheets and light curtains provided by aid groups.
The Community of Sant'Egidio, while managing prompt relief distributions, has also launched a number of aid programs:
1. Healthcare support to the Shamlapur and Unchiprang field hospitals opened by MOAS –counting 700 visits per day - with the supply of medicines, machinery, and medical personnel.
2. Child protection and education. On Tuesday 23rd January 2018 the Community started a school for nearly 300 children in the Jamtholi camp, in partnership with "We The Dreamers" - young bangladeshi association - and the Indonesian Muhammadiyah.
3. Together with Caritas and the Church of Bangladesh, supply of blankets, clothes and essential commodities to the refugee camps of Leda and Kutupalong.