Rohingya students read the Koran Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Educating Myanmar’s Youngest Refugees

The Rohingya crisis is also an education crisis, as tens of thousands of refugees remain unable to access schooling in their temporary homes. Regardless of whether the Rohingya remain in Bangladesh or return to Myanmar, education of the youngest is both a right and an essential investment in the future.

COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH – Amina Begum is a case study in the power of hope. Three months ago, armed vigilantes attacked the six-year-old’s village in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Amina saw neighbors killed, an uncle wounded by gunfire, and her home razed.

Miraculously, Amina, her parents, and two younger brothers survived. After an arduous four-day journey that included evading militias and making a perilous river crossing, they reached safety in neighboring Bangladesh. “Now I want to be back in school,” Amina tells me. “I miss reading and playing with my friends; I want to be a doctor.”

Amina's father is even more emphatic about his daughter’s future. “Without learning, what chance will my children have for a better life?” he asks. “They need to be in school.”

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