A&M joins with TBHF on education project for Rohingya child refugees

04 June 2019 Consultancy-me.com 4 min. read
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Alvarez & Marsal Middle East has partnered with The Big Heart Foundation to support education and development initiatives for young Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The Middle East branch of global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has joined with Sharjah-based humanitarian agency The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) to help raise funds in support of refugee children in Bangladesh. The joint activities will centre on the development of an education centre for Rohingya students living in the world’s largest refugee settlement: the Kutupalong Refugee Camp, home to over half a million refugees.

As part of the wider Cox’s Bazar District of refugee settlements in the southeast of the country – which together serve as a haven for mostly Muslim minority Rohingya fleeing violent persecution in Myanmar – Kutupalong has an area of just 13 square kilometres and a population according to UNHCR figures exceeding 630,000 displaced people – with over forty percent of arrivals under the age of twelve.

In an effort to avoid a lost generation of budding minds vulnerable to future human exploitation, the international aid community has recently turned its attention to providing educational support for the half a million children under the age of 18 estimated by UNICEF to be resident at the camps, having established a network of around 1,600 Learning Centres by the beginning of the year. Still, hundreds of thousands of young Rohingya still lack access to basic education.

“Around 51 percent of children in these refugee camps still require access to school or any learning opportunity,” said TBHF Director Mariam Al Hammadi. “I am honoured and pleased in equal measure to announce that we are joining hands with top consultancy and advisory firm, A&M, on this new learning center project in Bangladesh, whose objective is to assist the nation and the humanitarian community there in improving access and quality of education for these children.”A&M joins with TBHF on education project for Rohingya child refugeesAccording to A&M and TBHF (the latter which was established in 2015 by Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, the wife of Sharjah ruler Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi – having since provided aid services to more than a million needy recipients around the world), the Model Learning Center project upon completion will cater to 320 students per day and provide training to nearly 1,200 Rohingya and Bangladeshi teachers at the camp each year.

“Ramadan is a time of giving, generosity, togetherness and tolerance,” said A&M Middle East managing director Saeeda Jaffar. “We are humbled and proud to know that our partnership with TBHF will bring meaningful changes to the lives of refugee children in Bangladesh. The financing will not only address the immediate education needs of the Rohingya youth but will also provide access to development opportunities and standardised learning frameworks.”

Announced at an event in Dubai attended by Bangladesh Consul General Iqbal Khan, the model centre will in addition to featuring four classrooms and a training facility provide accommodation and specialised training for teachers as well as a separate safe playground for children – helping to address the “mental and psychological status of hundreds of camp children who have experienced trauma at such early stages.”

“Many children have suffered traumatic injuries from gunshot wounds and extreme violence, restricting their mobility and access to services,” commented Iffat Farhana, an Education Officer with UNICEF, earlier this year. “We see many children with mixed learning abilities, physical disabilities, visual impairment and speech difficulties. Each of these children has a right to education. With more Learning Centres and more teachers, UNICEF hopes to reach every child to help them learn, grow and realise their potential.”

TBHF’s Al Hammadi concluded; “Our objective when deciding on programmes or projects to support and bring forward to donors is always to ensure that there is a long-term impact to our interventions on people and communities that need them the most. Every dirham any of our donors contribute to our campaigns will be used in full to help improve the future prospects of millions in need.”

Related: BCG partners with the WFP on refugee food security innovations in Jordan