The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group in Rakhine State, on western coast of Burma (Myanmar). More than one million people in Burma identify as Rohingya but face continual anti- muslim persecution from the Burmese government who claim they are not a genuine ethnic group but are Bengali migrants whose presence is a legacy of colonial times.
Since the government passed the 1982 Citizenship Act, the Rohingya people have been denied access to citizenship and subjected to grave human rights abuses at the hands of the authorities and local population in Burma.
Many groups have described the treatment of the Rohingya as genocidal, yet the international community have largely ignored their plight for many years.
To escape this treatment over the years, Rohingya refugees have made perilous journeys at sea or fled across borders, often to countries that are already impoverished and over populated.
Bangladesh was already hosting around 400,000 Rohingya people, when a further 66,000 Rohingya refugees fled Rakhine State to Bangladesh after attacks killing nine Myanmar border police in October 2016 triggered an additional surge of violence from the military towards the people group.
Advocacy groups called for an independent UN investigation into these atrocities. When the report was released in February 2017 it detailed devastating cruelty to Rohingya children, men and women and called for the international community to urge the military in Myanmar to bring these operations to an end.
Conditions for those that have made it across the border are desperate, and children have no opportunity for education. Official refugee camps are at capacity, overspilling into illegal makeshift camps.
Movement out of these camps is restricted and refugees have no permission to work. They are often subject to attacks and persecution from locals who resent the refugee community.
Denied help from the government and the UN, there is the risk of an entire generation of Rohingya children growing up unable to read or write.
What we are doing to help
Operating in environments that are hostile to refugees is difficult, but together with our local partners, Children on the Edge has developed a unique model to deliver primary education for Rohingya children living in exile in a large makeshift refugee camp in Bangladesh.
We operate 45 classrooms in the camp. These enable 2,700 children to come to a safe, child friendly environment and gain a full primary education.
We have 45 teachers, who are all are trained at the beginning of the year and then attend monthly refresher trainings in the camp, so that they can provide the best education possible.
Each school is equipped with text books, slates and chalk, mats to sit on and other educational resources.
All children follow a government recognised curriculum and take exams, ensuring that their education is officially recognised in the future, despite their migrant status.
The situation here is desperate, with refugees pouring over the border to flee from the current violence. Our work here is more vital than ever.