For most of his life, Naim called Myanmar his home. It’s the place where he grew up, where he met and married his wife,
and where he raised his three children.
At the age of 63, Naim was forced to flee his home in Myanmar due to conflict and war in his city. He and his family had to leave behind the home they had known all their lives and find a new place to seek refuge. The family was only able to take with them what they could carry. While it was difficult to leave everything they had known behind, their safety and survival were at stake.
In September 2017, Naim and his family, along with thousands of other Rohingya refugees, reached Bangladesh. With an influx of refugees arriving in the country, many refugee camps were overwhelmed.
Naim’s family, now owning only what they could carry with them from their home, had no shelter and were thus entirely
dependant on support from aid agencies and the Bangladesh government for help. Naim was initially given some basic
building materials to build a shelter.
After a short time, the shelter was damaged by heavy winds and rain. “In the rainy season, we lived in pain. The water entered from the roof, fence [and also] from the muddy floor. We were in trouble seriously.” Naim asked many people for help to rebuild his shelter, some people even made him promises to help, but they never delivered, “they assured me to provide shelter. But nobody provided.”
Naim’s age made it difficult for him to find any work within the refugee camp, meaning he could not earn any income to purchase any other shelter materials.
In 2020, ADRA started funding a new project in one of the many Bangladesh Refugee camps to help people like Naim.
Through ADRA’s partnership with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we were also able to access funding to make this project possible. Naim heard about this project and reached out for help explaining his situation.
Staff members visited his shelter to assess the situation. Within a few days, Naim received a token that would allow him to collect a new shelter kit. The shelter kit included 60 Muli Bamboos, 4 Borak Bamboos, two tarpaulins, ropes, a hand saw, hammer, pliers, iron wire, and a padlock.
When he arrived to collect his shelter kit, ADRA provided two workers to carry all the shelter items back to his shelter site. The next day, two other workers arrived to help him build his shelter.
For ADRA, partnership is recognising the different levels of need people have and providing additional support where and when it’s needed. In Bangladesh, it meant providing Naim with the extra support he needed to build a new shelter. This partnership also meant that ADRA utilised refugees as labourers to help Naim, providing them with work and an income.
Naim is grateful for his new shelter, “I have a good shelter. My wife told me that we will sleep at night [with] peacefully.”
While Naim is still in a refugee camp and away from the only home he knew for all his life, he now has a home where
he is protected from the rain and can live more comfortably.
Naim’s Story is courtesy of ADRA Bangladesh.
Please note that names have been changed to protect the privacy and identity of people in this story.