Author: Esther Smitheram
Full Citation: Smitheram, E. (2017). Standing in the gap for Rohingya refugee children: A community approach to making education possible (Case study). Promising Practices in Refugee Education.
Children on the Edge has supported an unregistered Rohingya refugee community to develop their own unique education system. This provides access to quality, child-centred education for 2,700 Rohingya refugee children in an unofficial refugee camp near the Bangladesh/Myanmar border.
- With official UN camps in Bangladesh at capacity, thousands of Rohingya were denied official refugee status. They were forced to settle in makeshift border camps with no opportunity for basic services or education for their children.
- The ‘Rohingya Children’s Education Programme’ (RCEP) was developed with support from Children on the Edge from within the refugee community. Local people were resourced to develop a ‘Standing in the gap’ model to provide education for their children, through a low-profile approach, within one of the makeshift refugee camps. This concept acknowledges the complex dynamics of the area, the pressure on all actors involved and the limits on resources, but rather than allowing these factors to decide the fate of the most vulnerable, looks for an alternative solution until the situation improves.