14-year-old Rohingya girl thrilled to chase her dreams again
“I thought I would never get a chance to go to school again in my life. Since my childhood, I wanted to become a doctor, but after coming here that desire started dying day by day,” says Jannat,* a 14-year-old Rohingya girl living in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh.
After fleeing Myanmar, Jannat, her parents and two siblings settled in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. Learning is a big priority for Jannat’s parents, who both volunteer as teachers in their camp.
Jannat remembers the moment her dream to become a doctor took root. She says, “our house in Myanmar had two floors. We used to live on one floor, and a doctor used to rent the other floor. Every day I saw sick people visiting her for treatment. She seemed to know such magic that people are so relieved after their visit to her! I used to tell my mother that I will be like her when I grow up.”
14-year-old Jannat from Myanmar dreams of being a doctor one day.
She continues, “But after coming to the camp, that dream started to disappear. We live an uncertain life here. Initially, I used to go to the learning centre here, but just before I became a teenager, my studies stopped due to social customs. In our society, adolescent girls are not allowed to go out.”
Thankfully, when Save the Children started community-based education classes led by female teachers, things started to change for Jannat.
A second chance to study
Jannat’s mother became a teacher at one of the centres and it wasn’t long before the 14-year-old was allowed to attend classes.
“A year ago, [the community-based learning facility] was started here and many girls like me got the chance to study again.” Jannat explains, describing how happy she and her friends are to be learning together.
Jannat’s mother, Marjina, helps her learn in one of Save the Children’s community-based education classes.
Jannat and her classmates study six subjects: Burmese, science, maths, English, social studies, and life skills. Jannat likes learning Burmese and science the most. With her newfound access to education, Jannat is daring to dream again. She knows that to become a doctor, she must excel at science.
Jannat is full of hope for the future. “Four months ago, I went to a camp hospital and was treated by a doctor. Her kind voice and attitude clicked my old dream again,” she says.
Jannat's parents wish for her to fulfil her ambitions one day. They know this is unlikely while they live in the camp but hope if they are one day able to go back to Myanmar, it might be possible for Jannat study at university.
Jannat dreams of being a doctor and is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn again.
Jannat’s mother Marjina* says “We know education is very important for us. We want our children to continue their studies as far as possible. Jannat is very attentive and interested in studies. We will try our best to fulfil her dream.”
This project is funded by Education Cannot Wait.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.
Photos: Rubina Hoque Alee / Save the Children Bangladesh.