“We don’t like to live in this world with the name of refugee.”
Samuda became our first official teacher for the Girls’ Program. Books Unbound recognised the need for an all-girls program in the Rohingya refugee camps to target problems specific to women in the community. When we struggled to find a well-educated Rohingya woman who could help us pilot and implement our program, we realised just how important the project would be. When Samuda came into the picture, we were finally able to get our program off the ground. A Rohingya refugee herself, she is a huge advocate for women’s rights in the Rohingya community.
This is Samuda’s story.
“I was born in Bangladesh camp in 1999 and now live in Kutupalong Registered refugee camp in Bangladesh. My family had fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in 1994 due to the persecution of Myanmar. We are five sisters and three brothers and still my parents alive, Alhamdulillah. My family fled because they thought that they won’t be treated by the Persecutor Military like other people.
We are Rohingya community was forcibly Displaced from Myanmar in 1971, 1992, 1994, 2012, 9th October 2016 and 25th August 2017. The Rohingya community was persecuted by the Myanmar Government by different ways for centuries. I would like to thank to Bangladesh government and International Community for helping us during our shelterless and hopeless time. After coming here Bangladesh government helped us giving place and International Community helped us by providing shelter, food, medicine and basic education.
But we are just surviving at camp. We have no rights to have healthy food, higher education, safe shelter, proper treatment, enough clothes, security, free movement, citizenship etc. Fundamental Rights. We don’t have enough education so the youth generation are going to involve with illegal work as they have nothing to do any good job or study. Most of the children born in Bangladesh but they are not getting any facility like Bangladeshi or other countries child.
We don’t like to live in this world with the name of refugee. We would like to be independence. We would like to go the country where we can move freely, higher education and all of the rights that people and child have. I born in Bangladesh and I am 23 years old but still I am not sure if I will be able to stay here or will be displaced somewhere. I would like to get a guarantee safe and peace place.
I have been working with my community since 2017 in different positions like translator, Project Supervisor at Women and Girls Empowerment project, and Evaluation Officer at Psychosocial Support project. And beside this it’s my fortune that I got a great opportunity to work with Books Unbound as a Girl’s Book Teacher.
My dream is to be a good doctor. In our community here’s not female doctor. When I was 7 years old I heard from my mom that so many girls and women had died due to the secret serious disease. Some had died as they didn’t get proper treatment and some as they were shy. Since then, I decided that I would be good doctor to help my community and all the female in the world.
My father was my inspiration. There is not anyone else to earn money at my house except my father. We are five sisters and three brothers. He did hard work to fill my and other children’s dreams and didn’t take rest even during Eid festival. Everyone studied till class 10 privately at camp and were all educated Alhamdulillah by the support and hard work of my father. He always inspired me to get higher education and fill my dream.
I have been working with Books Unbound since 2021 on the Teacher guide and Girls Book. As a Girl’s Teacher, I have completed 9 girls programs with about 200 students, age 14-18. By this program, me and so many girls have been changed. By this program, so many Child marriage have been stopped, doing physical exercise and maintaining hygiene and helped to engage more girls in such kind of work. Our girls share the book with their family, friends and community. Our community liked this book very much and every girl should get this training and change their life. This Girls book also inspired me to learn more and share with my community. As my dream is to help and empower the girls, this training helped me to reduce my pain that I got in my childhood and feeling like Books Unbound is helping me to fulfill my dream and help my community.
I got marriage on August 2021. Now, I live with my husband. My husband is my inspiration and best advisor of my life now. We are very happy with our new life now. My behavior, thinking and dream has been changed by the help of Almighty Allah and support of International Community. Now, I feel like I have also rights like other people in the world. One day my community will have rights like other independence citizenship. Books Unbound and other organizations are my inspiration and hope of my life and my community. I know I couldn’t explain everything with good words but thank you so much for giving me opportunity to express my feeling.”
Samuda inspires us because of her determination to fight for what she believes in and help her community. Despite the adversity she has faced, she remains optimistic and has achieved so much, and we are so grateful for her work with us. Without Samuda, our Girls’ program would not have been possible. We hope that her story can provide insight into the challenges that the Rohingya community face.
About Our Inspiration Project:
The stories worth sharing. We “cartoonize” the characters whose stories continue to challenge and inspire us everyday, transforming our perspectives.