Home List of Centres Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB)’s work in Kutopulong and Nayapara Camps for Rohingya Refugees
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Early Childhood Learning Centers begin in Rohingya CampsRIB is conducting a program of participatory action research and early childhood learning centers within existing systems operating in the Rohingya refugee camps, as the implementing partner of UNHCR. Several models and methods developed over the years at RIB in other parts of Bangladesh will be used in the camps.

Overall RIB’s strategy in Cox’s Bazar District

RIB’s participatory methods engage both research (in generating knowledge of people’s needs and strategies) and developmental outcomes (e.g. in enabling access to services either through self-management skills or through advocacy of their fundamental rights). This approach in RIB’s work in the two refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazaar District would engage both research tools and implementation processes in a way where one strengthens the other. RIB’s expertise lies in participatory action research which is used to bring the people in the community together to decide what are the problems and the gaps in the community, following which RIB supports the community in resolving their own conflicts and addressing their needs. Furthermore, RIB builds on the existing community structures, by strengthening linkages between people and already existing organizations/institutions with the focus of building the capacity and engaging the creativity of the community to address their own problems. In the case of the camps the camp residents of each camp will be thought of as a community in themselves.Participatory Action Research Groups formed

RIB’s initial entry point in the camps will be to assess the need for an early childhood education in these communities and to determine if the community concerned would be interested in supporting this initiative. The early childhood learning model which has been developed over the years by RIB under the name of Kajoli* Model is aimed specifically at attracting children from the poorest communities to education, dispelling the notion among parents that education is a difficult and costly process. Such an early childhood learning centre would develop an interest among these children to continue studies at the local free primary school. A key to success and sustainability of such model is to ensure participation of the local community in all its affairs from the very beginning, therefore relying on community’s help to operate. In order to ensure the community’s involvement in the affairs of running the centres in each camp, an animator would be appointed and s(he) would facilitate community support as well.

Activities inside the camp

The activities inside the camps would consist of the following:

  1. Formation of Participatory Action Groups ( PAR) (locally called Gonogobeshona Dol) facilitated by local animators
  2. Setting up Community-run Early Childhood Learning Centres following the Kajoli Model broadly and adapting to local context
  3. Bringing out 2 newsletters to give voice to refugees in the camp, engaging also their creativity and concerns emitting from their discussions in PAR groups
  4. The introduction of interactive theatre, an adaptation of the Forum theatre by Brazilian theatre activist Augusto Boal to youth groups, a technique where groups of actors may take up a theme concerning their community and develop the scenes in a play scripted by them through interacting with the spectators. The speciality of this form of theatre is that it enhances problem solving skills in a community unlike other forms of development theatre where the problem is already solved in the script.
  5. Using participatory action research as part of peace-building methods with an emphasis on addressing gender violence.
  6. Children’s festivals in two camps to demonstrate the abilities of children in Kajoli centres as well as show case the dual components of learning and voluntarism embedded in the process through holding teacher’s and parent’s gathering.

Related Inputs from RIB

  1. Training of teachers of Kajoli centres
  2. Provision of teaching materials
  3. Training of animators for PAR processes (Gonogobeshona)
  4. Publication of Newsletters
  5. Training in Interactive Theatre
  6. Training in Peace-building with emphasis on gender violence
  7. Regular monitoring of activities
  8. Administration