The first time I was approached to work on the Rohingya community was when a non-governmental organization approached me knowing my humanitarian work as an “artivist”(artist + activist). Indeed, as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, I am using performing art to help survivors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to better express themselves. This NGO saw my work in Congo with women victims of excision and decided to have me work in Bangladesh for the Rohingya women population especially.
This NGO is delivering access to information, education, and cultural resources on serving communities subject to systemic discrimination. My goal was to create pedagogical content to help trainers on site to deliver programs to the women population to get a better sense of autonomy and self-confidence thanks to role games. Going back and forth with those trainers allowed me to also have direct access to the Rohingya women population while some gave feedback on some parts of the training and some very interesting insights.
I immediately realized the willingness of those women to become more autonomous and to better understand how their own value could make a difference in order for their children could be better treated. This sense of “family first” was very present and being a mother myself I felt very close to M. in particular who was explaining that she would have extreme difficulties not only because of those horrific conditions they are living in but also due to the lack of consideration women have in the clan.