He says the experience of working here from the beginning of the Rohingya crisis, when hundreds of thousands of refugees fled to Bangladesh in 2017, has been life changing. He explains how,
“The nature of emergency work such as this is that it is unpredictable. One needs to be always ready for whatever task pops up, and there is no space for unprofessionalism. I like it, and as a person, I like connecting with the community members at the camps through my field visits.”
Born in 1986, Panesh is one of four siblings, and to this day his mother dotes on him. His father became a Buddlist monk, and works to bring peace and harmony to society, often giving great wisdom and advice to his children.
Panesh had a difficult time at school as a child. Initially he did well, but after struggling to complete a lesson one day, was hit by a teacher and treated cruelly. This experience forced him to drop out of school and lose interest in his studies. After going to stay with his grandmother, Panesh started a new school and passed his primary certificate, eventually going on to higher education, up to postgraduate level in Social Science.
After working as an assistant school teacher for a while, Panesh became unemployed and struggled with feelings of desperation. As he knew he loved teaching and wanted to work in education, he went back to college and gained a Bachelor of Education (BEd.) degree. After a few different NGO roles, he began working on the Rohingya crisis, firstly in a water and sanitation programme, and eventually, in the education programme with Children on the Edge.
He is delighted to finally be working in education and putting all his training and experience to good use. He is married and has a beautiful daughter, and loves to spend every day with the children at the learning centres. He says,