July 13, 2023

Rohingya Refugee School Project

The Rotary Club of Mirfield

September 2023

Many congratulations to Mirfield Rotary. Paul Cusworth has just written to say that as a result of their work on the Rohingya School Project they have earned the right to use the logo of the UNESCO Chair for Global Health and Education.

July 2023

Thank you to Paul Cusworth for the sharing the following story on Mirfield Rotary's children's environment art competition which included a focus on the Rohingya Education Project.

The Rotary Club  of Mirfield is pleased to announce the winners of their 2023 Children’s Environment art competition which celebrated King Charles III Coronation.

Local Artists  from Mirfield Art Hub and from West Yorkshire Print Works (WYPW) in Mirfield kindly volunteered to judge the entries. All schools in Mirfield were invited to take part.

The winners in each category were chosen and invited to Mirfield Rotary Club to receive their prizes, certificates and prints. The winner’s artwork was also displayed at the Mirfield Library.

5 to 7 years category: Freddie Williams (Crowlees School)

8 to 11 years categories: Francesca Addison (Crowlees School) and Benyamin Ahmed (Crossley Fields School)

12 to 14 years category:  Chloe Pollard (Mirfield Free Grammar school)

Special Educational Needs Disabilities (SEND) category: Walter Churchill (Ravenshall School)

Rotary Club President’s Award went to Nancy Stead (Crowlees School)

President Maureen Leask congratulated the winners and presented the prizes. The President said “The environment is very important and we are hoping to do more environmental projects in the future”. The judges commented that the standard of entries had been very high.

In addition, we had 34 entries from the Rohingya Refugee school that we fund in Bangladesh and the winners were:

Aazida Bibi, Mohammed Reyas and Asma Akhter

A taste of some Rohingya refugee entries

February 2023

In 2019 Rtn Paul Cusworth spoke at our District 1040 Conference about the plight of the 620,000 Rohingya children of school age who live in the largest refugee camp in the world. They have little or no education and live with little prospects in their lives.

Pupils at the school
Pupils with their new textbooks

Our Rotary Club located two young refugees trying to teach  50 children in two dwellings. They are two brothers, namely Erfun Amin and Arshad Amin, who fled to Bangladesh with their families after the genocide suffered by  the Rohingya people in 2017. We have supported this small school for 2 years now and wish to continue.

The school has 50 children, both girls and boys, aged from 8 to 14. The school operates 6 days a week with two sessions. The children are taught in separate grades and the main subjects are English, Mathematics, Burmese and Science including biology. For the first time these children had a full set of text books, note books and writing materials and we provided the teachers with white boards, furniture and teaching aids.

Erfun and Arshad say that when they started the classes, the children were unable to read or spell. Now we can see that they can read and understand and are able to learn much more. Tests for progress are done on a regular basis and a full set of exams were taken during January each year. In the final exam only 1 student failed to reach the standard required. During the year they held an Awards Ceremony.  Prizes were awarded to 14 students and each one got a trophy  and a parcel with clothes.

It is important to also tell you how much our support not only helps the children but also the two teachers’ family as well. They  have a large extended family and the salary we pay them of £120 per month each, helps to provide extra food for them to supplement their basic rations they receive but it is still difficult for them to get sufficient food to live without feeling hungry. They can also buy medicines now as well.

 The third year of support for the new school has started and we have now purchased sets of new text books and materials for the pupils. We would like to ensure a longer-term continuity for this project and to develop it further so we need more support. Consequently,  we launched  a ‘Sponsor a child’ project at £50 for a year. We are seeking sponsorships for a period of years if possible. All sponsors will get basic details of a pupil with generic pictures and an annual progress report. If a child leaves the school, we will nominate a replacement.

 If  anyone would like to support our project, please contact paulcusworthrotary@gmail.com  We have also a powerful presentation showing the difficult circumstances in which the children live and the dangers they face on a daily basis and we will happy to attend any Club in our surrounding area to present this or by Zoom if further away. Many Thanks for reading this report.

Paul Cusworth
Project Lead, The Rotary Club of Mirfield

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