Myanmar Refugee Crisis: "I am the man of the house now"

Myanmar Refugee Crisis: "I am the man of the house now"

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Hossein is seven years old. He is from Myanmar. He now lives in Balukhali camp in Bangladesh with his mother and siblings. They share a shelter with another single mother family, with a small partition separating the two families. His father was arrested in January on suspicion of espionage and terrorism, but the family claim he was innocent. He collected cooked meals from a CARE distribution for his family. 

Hossein’s story in his own words: 

“My father was arrested in Myanmar, many months ago. So I am the man of the house now. Even though my brother is bigger, I am the oldest so I take on the duties. 

I like to go and get the food for us, I want my mother and brothers and sisters to be happy and healthy. I like the rice. But I make sure the baby eats first. 

I have been here for 26 days now. We live close to other women and their families, so we feel safe. At night it is very noisy, but I try not to get scared. 

Of all the things I miss from Myanmar, I miss my dad the most.” 

Hossein’s mother, Nur’s story in her own words: 

“My village was burned down. Armed men started running towards us, so we ran away. They burned down our house too. 

Life here is better than it was in Myanmar, so for that I am thankful. But there is no latrine nearby, nothing for this whole area. So we just have to dig a hole and then make a sort of cubicle from plastic binbags. I feel so ashamed. There is just no privacy here at all. 

Here is awful. We are just women and children here, we stick together. But at night, if we walk around, we feel very scared. We try not to go anywhere alone. At night, we hear shouting and fights between the men too. 

The babies are getting eye infections - look at their eyes! We went to the doctor and he gave us something, and now they are looking better. They are itching less.”

Hossein collected rice from a CARE food distribution to take home to his family. CREDIT: Kathleen Prior/CARE