Disability (Rehab) – Bangladesh

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Disability (Rehab) – Bangladesh


This is an exodus in our time! Help the Rohingya refugees – some of the most persecuted people in our world today!

The displaced Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, remain in an extremely precarious situation despite progress towards meeting their basic and immediate needs. With an uncertain future over returning home to Myanmar, these people have no choice but to rely upon humanitarian aid. For them, every new day in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar is another day of struggle for survival.


Due to the violent nature of events that triggered the exodus of the Rohingya population to Bangladesh with firearms, landmines and other causes of injury, the prevalence of disabilities in the population of Cox’s Bazar refugee camps is higher than the estimated worldwide average of 15%.

Directed by the overarching UN 2020 Joint Response Plan: Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, the humanitarian sector has made important strides in meeting the needs of food, hygiene and primary health care of the displaced population. However, specialised services for persons with disabilities remains a significant gap. There is a vast need for rehabilitation services and assistive devices within the refugee camps. Additionally, due to the violence experienced in the exodus, and the hardship in the camps (aggravated by COVID-19), families are in great need of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support services to help overcome the emotional and physical challenges that they face.


  • Providing home based rehabilitation services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy by a multidisciplinary team capable of responding to the specific requirements of persons from different impairment groups.
  • Providing assistive devices such as hearing aids, walking sticks, frames and prosthetic limbs. cbm and its local partner, The Center for Disability in Development (CDD), remain the first and only provider of casting, fitting and gait training services required for prosthetic limbs. This is a much-needed service given the significant number of landmine victims.
  • Training caregivers in home therapy to ensure they can provide ongoing in-house rehabilitation services.
  • Conducting psychosocial therapies for caregivers and family members who often have higher needs than non-caregivers due to the greater responsibility for household tasks and less social support from their family and spouses.
  • Mainstreaming disability inclusion strategies within humanitarian organisations to reach persons with disabilities and feed into the Joint Response Plan.
  • Generating evidence on the importance of an integrated health care services approach.

Additional information


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Please help create a life-changing oasis for children in the overcrowded refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh...

Your gift in support of the Rohingya refugees will be multiplied X4!

"Then He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them.” – Mark 10:16

What a beautiful picture this scripture gives us of Jesus’ love for children. Calming their spirits. Bathing them in love. Blessing their lives.

Thank you for being willing to follow His lead. People like you are generously blessing so many of the world’s most traumatised children. Like those with disabilities in the Rohingya refugee camps on the hot barren coast of Bangladesh.

10-year-old Yasin is deaf, but that is not the reason he cannot bring himself to talk. His voice has been stilled by the trauma of unspeakable terror and violence that saw a million people flee Myanmar, desperate for a safe haven.

As a toddler, Yasin witnessed terrible crimes against his loved ones. He has never spoken of it. Or anything else.

Generous supporters like you are teaching this shattered boy how to be a child again, in the Child Friendly Space located beside the cbm-funded Medical Centre in the heart of Refugee Camp 18.

Yasin needs this oasis. He goes there every day to have his fear-broken heart healed just a little bit more. We hope one day this silent young witness will speak again.

Please help support the staff at the Medical Centre, including nurses, doctors, specialists and psychosocial trauma therapists to help heal adults and children like Yasin. The New Zealand Government Aid Programme supports this work – and will multiply your gift X4.

People like you have been supporting Rohingya refugees very generously since we first wrote about Saleha losing her leg in a minefield, escaping from Myanmar.

Yasin’s disability pre-dates that terrible forced exodus. At three-years-old, Yasin developed a typical early-childhood seepage from his ears.

Here in New Zealand he would have received skillful treatment, but healthcare barely existed for the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

A “doctor” without surgical experience decided to “operate” on the little boy’s ears. When he finished cutting, Yasin’s hearing was almost completely gone.

Unable to hear warnings or threats in that unsafe land, and with no comfort from his parents’ voices, Yasin had nothing but hand gestures to express a child’s needs and feelings.

Very soon after becoming deaf, the Rohingya crisis exploded. Yasin was the silent witness as his family home was burned to the ground by the marauding Myanmar soldiers – and all four of his beloved grandparents were shot and killed right in front of the little boy.

No child’s mind can cope with such grief and evil, but there was no time to mourn. Yasin’s parents took their six little ones and plunged into the jungle.

“For seven days we hid in the forest without any food,” says Yasin’s mother Anwara.

Hungry and hiding, Yasin’s young mind spun with sudden fear. He could not hear where guns were firing or where bullets were hitting… so he took fright and ran.

“Because he saw the shooting and witnessed the death of his grandparents, he would panic, get scared and try to run away. I’d hold him tightly in my arms.”

Imagine trying to save your children’s lives when your panic-stricken little boy can’t hear you.

Eventually the family made it to the squalid camps in Bangladesh, with constant stress, and in unbearable heat.

Yasin did what any traumatised child would do in the silent absence of comforting family sounds. He searched for safety. Aimlessly wandering all day – every place as frightening and insecure as the next – trying to find a haven from his overwhelming fears. His parents were beside themselves with worry.

Word spread about the traumatised little boy who could not keep still and would not speak. That is how Yasin and his family found their way to the cbm-funded Medical Centre.

Yasin was assessed by experts and received a brilliant little hearing aid that amplifies the tiny sliver of sound that survived his “surgery”. Thanks to the kindness of people like you, Yasin is no longer in a world of frightening total silence.

Please help support the oasis of hope and healing with your gift for the Rohingya refugees. The urgently-needed gift you send today will be multiplied X4 from the New Zealand Government Aid Programme. Thank you.

Can you imagine how precious Yasin’s hearing aid is to his family? Communication! School! They treat your gift with utmost care.

Because of Yasin’s hearing aid, and his ability to hear even just a little, people like you are also helping to give this family another priceless gift: the chance to mend a child’s shattered spirit. Yasin can go to the cbm-funded Medical Centre and also spend heart-healing time in a wonderful room called the CFS – the Child Friendly Space.

The CFS room is the safe haven Yasin had been yearning to find. A calm and soothing room with toys and games, where children learn to be children again.

It is a place where the impossible happened. Yasin has smiled!

Despite the terrible hurt and trauma of being a silent witness to family death and destruction, Yasin can smile again.

Teacher Shanti Barua says, “The transformation in Yasin has been radical. The children were very distressed mentally. They had difficulty playing together.”

Every day Shanti and a small team lead the children through songs, exercise and play time – and every day, Yasin is first to arrive and last to leave.

His mother beams. “He has made friends, and he doesn’t wander all the time.”

Yasin’s recovery is not complete yet. He has still not spoken. “If my son could speak, that would be the best thing in my life.”

Please prayerfully consider sending a life-changing gift for adults and children with disabilities living in the crowded chaos of the Rohingya refugee camps. Your gift will be multiplied X4 to help support disability therapy, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language therapy, and hearing and vision services to adults and children like Yasin. It will also help provide assistive technologies, including hearing aids, glasses and mobility devices. And it will help to support the staff at the Medical Centre, including nurses, doctors, specialists and psychosocial trauma therapists to help heal adults and children like Yasin.

Poor Yasin’s young mind was completely shattered by the murder of his grandparents. People like you have done what seems impossible, giving him the ability to smile again, to make friends and even to experience sound again with his precious hearing aid. Let us keep pressing on, in the hope that one day this young boy will open his mouth and speak again. Please send a gift today to keep the cbm-funded Medical Centre open and running, for refugees with disabilities living in the chaos of the Rohingya camps. Thank you.

The plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar left Yasin with profound disabilities – in his body and his mind. He was a silent witness to crimes no child should ever see. Please make sure the journey of healing for children, like Yasin, can continue, by sending your gift for the Medical Centre serving Rohingya refugees with disabilities in Bangladesh. Your gift will be multiplied X4 by the New Zealand Government Aid Programme.

Watch Yasin's parents and teacher tell his heartbreaking story...