Save the Children Bangladesh
Location: Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Occupation: Community Mobiliser
Occupation: Community Mobiliser
Khotiza Begum is a Rohingya refugee working as a Community Mobiliser with Save the Children in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Her main responsibilities are camp-level coordination, representation, and multi-sector messaging and referrals. There are about one thousand Community Mobilisers who all together visit over 8,000 Rohingya families every week.
In Khotiza’s own words….
“I live with my husband and child here in Bangladesh. I came over in August 2017 from Myanmar. I used to live near the border and it took me 1 month to get to Bangladesh. I fled with my family after our village was burnt. We were incredibly scared and we knew if we wanted to survive then we had to flee. We are happy here in Bangladesh, as we do not have to see killing or beating of people. We feel safer here now.
I heard that Save the Children were recruiting Community Mobilizers that were delivering awareness raising sessions in the community and I wanted to be involved, doing a job that would help the community people. I went for an interview and told them that back in Myanmar I used to support nutrition services in my local community. I felt I had valuable skills to offer Save the Children working in the camps, and I was very happy when they offered me a job as a Community Mobilizer.
Every morning I get ready for the work and at 9am I meet our supervisor and get instructions on what messaging we need to deliver to families. We visit approximately 20 families in a day. We deliver lots of different types of health messages and also help to identify serious diseases, referring families to adequate health services. Along with messages around health, I also share messages to promote hygiene, for instance, showing families how they must wash their hands before eating and after going to the toilet. I feel happy when I see children washing their hands in the camps, and showing their siblings how to do it.
The thing that I love most about my job is the strong relationships that I have formed with the community people. If I cannot get to all the houses that day, they will call me, asking me to visit the next day. It feels incredibly rewarding knowing that you are helping and making a difference to people’s lives.
I am very happy that I am doing a job and that I can support my child and family. My husband does not work as he does not have educational qualifications, so he looks after my family. I love this job as I can learn and also provide messages to others. Its win, win for both us! From the knowledge that I get form this job, I hope to use my skills for the future and have a more fulfilled future.
My husband is very supportive of me going to work, my husband does household chores to support me.
I like to work for Save the Children as I feel I am making a positive difference for my community. I am not only helping the people but also gaining knowledge which will help me in the future. The food rations we get are not sufficient so I use my earnings to get some meat and fish for my family. the extra money helps.
This week, I have been sharing chicken pox awareness messages among the community. There has been an increase in chicken pox cases in the camps, which has seen over 4,000 people affected already. I received training from the World Health Organization on disseminating messaging regarding prevention and treatment of the disease among families in the camps. I am also telling families to visit Save the Children Health Posts to receive medication to reduce symptoms of itchiness and discomfort.”
Save the Children Field Community Mobilizer, Khotiza visits 100 families per week across the camps to spread messages about all Save the Children’s services and support with referrals where necessary. Since early January 2019, Khotiza has been delivering awareness messages to affected households on the prevention, symptoms and treatment of chicken pox.