Nur and her brother Mohammed Belal fled their village in September 2017 after the Myanmar military attacked it. “They were killing our parents in front of us, I felt very afraid and escaped,” she says. Now she has settled at the shelter for unaccompanied children, saying that she likes the fact she can play there. She also welcomes the regular meals, a contrast to her journey from Myanmar to Bangladesh, where she and her brother nearly starved. But she remains haunted by the trauma of recent weeks. “I miss my parents, my home, my country,” she adds.
His parents dead, Jaded Alam relies on his aunt Almo Rezan for survival in Bangladesh’s Kutapalong Rohingya camp. “My aunt cares for me very much. I just roam here and there around the camp though I usually don’t go far because I worry about getting lost.” It was not always like this. Jaded grew up in the village of Mandi Para in Myanmar, where he used to love playing football. But it was when the Myanmar military attacked his village that Jaded’s world turned upside down. “They told us to leave our home and when I was running with my parents they shot them,” he says. “They died on the spot.”
Now he dreams of returning to Myanmar - to find the 9 siblings that he was separated from as they fled the violence.
Dilu-Aara, 15, is currently living at a Save The Children shelter for unaccompanied minors in Bangladesh’s Kutapalong Rohingya refugee camp. She came to the camp with her sister Rojina after fleeing their village in Myanmar, called Kinchini, where she says she witnessed her parents being murdered by the military. “I was crying all the time, and the bullets were flying over our heads - I escaped somehow”
Rahman Ali has been scouring Kutapalong refugee camp in recent weeks after the disappearance of his 10-year old son Zifad. Originally from the village of Kajibil in Maungdaw, Myanmar, he fled the country a decade ago and has been living in the camp in Bangladesh ever since. Rumours of child abductions have swirled around the camp for years, and Rahman fears his son has fallen prey to human traffickers. “I cant eat and I can’t sleep I’m so upset, it’s like I’ve gone mad.”
"I have possessions, but I have lost my parents; that means I have nothing right now."
“The day the military came they burnt the village,” explains 10-year-old Mohammed Belal, who fled from his village of Kinichi, amid the Myanmar military’s offensive in September 2017. “They shot my mother as she was trying to escape. My father couldn’t walk so they stabbed him with knives. I saw this with my own eyes.”
When the firing started, Sokina Khatun did all she could to protect the children with her - but she could not protect Yasmine, 15, and Jamalita, 20. Sonia fled the village of Tulatoli amid Myanmar’s military offensive targeting the Rohingya with her husband and 9 of their offspring, but these two daughters were in a neighbouring village.“Their throats were cut in front of their grandmother and grandfather,” says Sokina. “I was numb, I couldn’t feel the pain of what had happened - all I focused on was protecting my children.” Memories of home hit especially hard when she is cooking, she explains. “Right now my mind is not normal,” she says, matter-of-factly.
Yasmine’s bond with her father Sayad Hossan was such, she says with the faintest flicker of a smile, that she knew when he was nearby. “I could tell if he was coming down the road.” Yasmine thinks she might be 15 but looks considerably younger. The memories of the fun she used to have in her village of Deol Toli, in Myanmar, are fresh; playing with marbles, running around the field besides their house. Fresher yet, however, are the memories that haunt her; the attack by Myanmar military forces on her village a few weeks ago; the beating and murder of her father and two brothers, her gang rape at the hands of the soldiers who robbed her of her money before handing her back to her mother. “I felt lots of pain in my body,” she says,