WATER, HEALTH, AND HYGIENE
Tube well installation: The Rohingya refugee camps on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border host over 1 million refugees in cramped living conditions.Due to the overcrowding of the camp, there still exists an acute shortage of tube-wells, particularly in remote areas. Tube-wells are the only means through which people can access fresh water. Clean water is essential to ensure that sickness and malnutrition does not spread in the camp. People also rely on them for cooking, cleaning, and showering. Remote areas have a particular shortage of tube-wells because of their locations. The installation of tube wells has greatly facilitated families in accessing clean water. Just one tube well can provide water for about a dozen families (with 5-10 family members). Silkpath identified 5 areas requiring tube-wells and installed them for these communities. To date, Silkpath has installed some 20 tube-wells which has helped to provide fresh water to nearly 5000 people in the camps.
Women’s hygiene products: Humanitarian crises sometimes have a disproportional effect on women. In the Rohingya camps, women beyond the age of 14 largely remain indoors. With resources already so scarce in the camps, women’s hygiene products at times seems like a luxury item despite being a bare necessity for hygiene and preventing infections and sickness. Silkpath Relief thus purchases and distributes hygiene items to assist women in the camps.
Eye surgeries funding: Many families have a child or family member who requires a simple surgery to correct their eyesight. However, as these surgeries may cost upwards of $100 USD, families are unable to collect the necessary funds. We directly work with eye doctors to ensure that funds are provided for individuals unable to pay for necessary surgeries.
Wood distribution - Silkpath formed a relationship with two 'widows' camps' (camp areas that are exclusively female as all male family members have either died or been arrested). The widows' camps are particularly under-resourced because of the difficulty that women have in obtaining employment. Furthermore, the remote locations of these camps makes the accessibly by international aid agencies. After discussion with camp leaders, Silkpath identified firewood as a significant need for these women. Firewood is necessary for cooking and thus is continually needed in the camps. Silkpath distributed two bundles of firewood to each female, for a total of 800 bundles.
English language classes: Rohingya refugee women in Malaysia face numerous impediments in accessing employment and other opportunities due to their limited language skills. Silkpath Relief provides an English class to Rohingya women to increase their skill-set. The classes focus on both written and spoken English and are geared at basic communication. We are working to continue implementing this initiative.
Support for widows' camp - Because of the acute lack of resources in the widows' camps, Silkpath ensures that basic necessities are continuously provided. Furthermore, Silkpath helped the community to form a weekly town-hall meeting where problems could be addressed on a weekly basis.
Silkpath Relief recognizes the central role of local communities in supporting individuals in the midst of humanitarian crisis. We thus work to strengthen local institutions that directly work with vulnerable individuals.
Mosque support project: In the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazaar, the mosque represents one of the few communal areas where individuals can meet and forge the social ties essential for community cohesion. Silkpath Relief provided mats for the mosque flooring, as congregation members were previously praying on worn-out plastic tarp. We hope to continue working with mosques so that they may be better resourced with such amenities as fans, lighting, and a speaker system.
Clothing distribution to Afghan families: Afghanistan’s crippled economy has caused major difficulty in families being able to buy basic necessities like clothing. Particularly during the winters, the temperature regularly reaches well below zero and load-shedding may last 10 hours daily. Warm and durable clothes are essential for such weather. We work directly with families to provide clothing for men, women, and children of all ages.
Clothing distribution to Rohingya refugees: Most Rohingya families living in the Bangladesh refugee camps and in Malaysia lack any form of employment income, thus having to rely on handouts from NGOs. The sheer number of refugees in the refugee camps in Bangladesh has caused basic necessities such as clothing to be in high demand. Silkpath Relief setup a temporary clothing distribution site at the local mosque in Balukhali refugee camp where women, children, and men are able to collect clothing items. We also distributed clothing to refugees in Malaysia.
Silkpath Relief recognizes that families in dire economic conditions require funds to meet their basic necessities. Silkpath Relief works with teams of locals – both in Afghanistan and in the Rohingya camps – to identify some of the poorest families undergoing extreme hardship. We directly provide funds to such families so that they may acquire necessary resources.