Waking up early in the morning, Jaheda Begum finishes her household chores quickly. Taking her breakfast, she comes out of her home in a Rohingya camp and rushes to a place where Rohingya women like her meet every day at 9:00am.
“There we get to know what is the message for the day. Then we will set out for the houses in the camps to disseminate the message among the Rohingya people till 5:00pm,” she said.
“We visit every house in my area and deliver messages on various issues. Now we are spreading the message on what to do in time of disasters.”
Jaheda is one of the 1,000 volunteers from the Rohingya community who regularly circulate lifesaving messages to the Rohingya people through door-to-door visits. They were given trainings and incentive for this task.
More than 90 percent of the volunteers are women who regularly pay visit to the houses in the camp. Volunteers hold meetings with the Rohingya people twice a month to solve the internal problems through discussions.
This is the community mobilisation volunteers network project, initiated by Brac in partnership with Unicef in November 2017 under Humanitarian Crisis Management Programme.
The project is for circulating lifesaving messages on health, hygiene, nutrition, child protection, gender-based violence and disaster preparedness through inter-personal communication sessions and other activities.
And it helped the Rohingyas in a big way.
“Last year when I was providing monsoon preparedness message, people of my block were becoming scared. But this year they seem quite confident to face any calamities … Now people are cautious and confident,” said Jaheda.
“I was driven out from Myanmar forcibly by the military; I was always in pain. It has been a great experience for me …
“I also keep an eye on my community households during heavy rain and if there is any cyclone forecast. I have provided monsoon preparedness messages to the Rohingya community. They have been benefited … Now they understand the cyclone flag.”