Twenty-one-year-old Yasmin Ara is a Rohingya refugee from Myanmar living in Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee camp. As a community volunteer for the International Rescue Committee, she goes door-to-door to raise awareness about protection from the coronavirus. “Rohingya people help others as much as possible,” she says.
Learn more about the essential contributions of refugees like Yasmin—during COVID-19 and beyond.
“Rohingya people take care of each other. They help others as much as possible. In Myanmar, I was very free and happy. [My family] had a two-story wooden house. On August 25, 2017, when the [violence] started, we went to the hill [for safety]. When the gunfire intensified, we didn’t go back home. We hid on the hill for one night and one day. On the 26th at 5:45pm, we reached this place [Bangladesh], Kutupalong camp.” As a community volunteer for the IRC, Yasmin helps raise awareness about COVID-19. “The camp is a very crowded place. Every house is quite close to each other. This an overpopulated place. How will they stay safe? I tell people how we can prevent ourselves from getting [the coronavirus]. We need to wash our hands and shouldn’t touch our face and eyes. If anyone is sick, I refer them to the hospital. People in the camp now understand safety. Things are not like before, they have changed. I am a refugee and I am a community volunteer.”