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Young Rohingya refugees find hope in friendship – ANITH
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Young Rohingya refugees find hope in friendship

Young Rohingya refugees find hope in friendship

Tasmin Ara, Mustakima, Nur Akter, and Showkat Atu arrived at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, a year ago.

The girls, all of whom are 10 with the exception of 12-year-old Showkat Atu, have developed a system for surviving Kutupalong: They make friends with every new girl who’s forced to call the world’s largest refugee camp her home.

“It is hard when you first arrive, so we help by sharing food and clothes,” Mustakima recently told Plan International, a child rights and humanitarian organization that provides services in Kutupalong. (Plan Internernational identified the girls, who participate in the nonprofit’s programs, by only their first names.)

“We never eat alone,” said Tasmin Ara. “We eat every meal together, no matter what!”

The girls live with nearly a million Rohingya Muslim refugees who began fleeing state-sanctioned violence and religious persecution in neighboring Myanmar a year ago. With no end in sight to the crisis, girls like Tasmin Ara, Mustakima, Nur Akter, and Showkat Atu are finding hope in their improbable friendships. 

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Anith Gopal
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