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School – a rare sanctuary for traumatised Rohingya children

Hollow-eyed and detached, 11-year-old Rohingya refugee Sayed Nul betrays little emotion as he recounts why his family fled Myanmar: “The Rakhine Buddhists burned my house. Killed people with bullets. And raped the women.”

For the aid workers in Bangladesh dealing with the current exodus of Rohingya escaping sectarian violence of Myanmar s Rakhine state, it is a familiar and upsetting sight as they try to put young lives back together.

Of the 520,000 Rohingya who have arrived in recent weeks, 290,000 are children, many haunted by the horrors they have witnessed, now crammed into teeming refugee camps with minimal facilities to deal with traumas embedded deep inside so many youngsters.

Aid groups are hurrying to set up schools and safe zones for children in the grim camps as part of the answer.

The few schools that have sprung up offer a brief respite.

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