Shahida Bibi is nine years old and lives in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh with her parents and three siblings. She attends one of our Learning Centres. Read her story....
Shahida was only four years old when she left Myanmar having witnessed horrific things during the Rohingya genocide in 2017. Thinking about those days still scares her now. She saw her parents and siblings crying when their whole village was burnt down. They were surrounded by the smell of burning and the sound of screams of friends and relatives. Her parents were physically abused by soldiers - her father tied up and beaten - the memory of which still makes her cry. After hiding from the soldiers, the family managed to escape and walked all the way to Bangladesh.
After arriving in Kutupalong refugee camp, the tension and fear subsided a little. It seemed to her that Bangladesh was a haven of calm, and she fell into her mother's arms at the side of the road due to hunger. Shahida did not see any violence after that. People nearby provided food for them and they spent a few days like this, recovering from their journey. After that, they were gradually provided with accommodation, food, clothes, and education through various NGOs.
Not long after arriving in Bangladesh, a new Children on the Edge school was built near Shahida’s shelter. Her mother enrolled her, and the first day of school was “like a dream” for her. All the children were given new bags, books and exercise books.
She was overwhelmed with happiness at all these new things and started noisily getting to know her new classmates in the playground.
For Shahida,“there is nothing more fun than sports and studies!”. She learned to read and write English and her teacher always supported her with her learning, even keeping the class informed on health and illness.
Shahida says that, “all my classmates love me very much and my teacher loves to be with us all the time. Love and respect are awakened by education which helps to make people human beings.”
Shahida is enjoys the digital video lessons and also likes watching the cartoons and the different types of crafting activities - she says she is learning to make paper containers from these videos.
Shahida really enjoys watching Moja Kids videos too and wants to see herself like this on the TV screen. She adds that her girlfriends at other NGOs schools have never seen a digital video class like hers, and “that's why they don't like class very much”. Many of them want to study in Shahida Bibi's class.