Johura

We walked for 15 days. I saw terrible things. We took no belongings with us, only our clothes and our two children. I carried one child on my back, my husband carried the other child on his back. This is how we came. When it rained, we would stop under a coconut tree. When we arrived at the river, we crossed the border and came to the camp. All we owned has been destroyed. I am happy I survived.


Johura, 31 (Balukhali Camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh)

Johura is married with two children, aged five and two. She makes sure her next door neighbour, Alam Baher, 30, takes her tuberculosis medicine every day.

“Alam and I were neighbours in the village. Now we are neighbours in the camp. Our families fled together. We are very close. I feel I am almost her daughter. I make sure she takes her medicine. I wash my hands first and then give her the medicine with some water. She must take one pill with an empty stomach in the morning. Sometimes I am late, and she comes to my house to take the medicines. The community health worker trained me how to give Alam her medicines. I do this because it’s good in the eyes of God. I want to be a good human being.”

Johura’s neighbour Alam Baher, 30 years old, is married with six children; four sons and two daughters. “I am blessed people have come to our aid” she says.

“I was coughing for half a month. I was lethargic, and I had a fever. When I saw Shahina (the community health worker), I told her about my cough. When I see Shahina I feel peace in my mind. I know she will take care of me. Johura keeps the medicines in her house. She is my guardian. She also takes care of other neighbours and tells them what the community health workers tell us.”

“We came with nothing. My husband was a farmer. Now he is unemployed. Sometimes he does some work for IOM (International Organization for Migration), filling sacks with sand and brings some money. My children go to school. I want my children to be good Muslims and good members of society. Mohammed Yousef, the oldest, is 12. He goes to school. He is not a mischievous boy. He likes to play football. He also goes to the madrasa. When he grows up, I want him to become an imam of a mosque.”

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