How are you involved in Education in Emergencies work?
My journey as a humanitarian worker started in 2020. I was involved in implementing UN Women’s first ever Second-Chance Education project in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. I worked for DanChurchAid as an Educational Coordinator, and was responsible for raising educational awareness among Rohingya adolescent girls who were out of school or had never been enrolled in school.
I now work at Save the Children as their Curriculum, Material Development and Training Manager. I am responsible for ensuring the professional development of thousands of teachers across the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. I support teachers by designing and conducting training sessions for them on topics such as social & emotional learning, classroom management, and child protection. I also help teachers to apply these strategies and techniques inside their classrooms. In the camps, more than 300,000 refugee children are not accessing formal education and there is a huge need for quality teachers. Given the scale of this learning crisis, working to build teachers’ capacity in this emergency context gives me a huge sense of achievement.
How did your experience as a Teach For Bangladesh fellow inspire or prepare you for what you’re doing now?
When designing materials or training sessions for teachers in the refugee camp, I put myself in their shoes, since I was also a teacher through my Teach For Bangladesh fellowship. Further, my fellowship experience helps me keep children, teachers, and the community at the center of my work. Most importantly, the fellowship taught me that building relationships and trust with the community is crucial to supporting them.
What have you learned from working in Education in Emergencies?
Education is a basic human right which needs to be addressed even during a crisis. From my personal journey working in an emergency context, I have seen Rohingya children who have experienced conflict, violence, and loss, and continue to face security risks and uncertainty about their futures. While designing curriculum and training sessions for the teachers, I always focus on mental health and wellbeing and group learning sessions, and include play time as part of the lesson plans. Happiness in learning is important for all learners and we should be especially aware of this in emergency contexts.
What advice do you have for other network alumni interested in humanitarian roles?
Before jumping into any intervention in an emergency context, a needs assessment should be conducted as rapid responses based on little data can actually cause harmful effects or even long-term damage. I would also stress the importance of coordination while working in humanitarian roles, in order to maximize the impact of your interventions and avoid duplication of efforts.
How has your work in Education in Emergencies influenced your future career plans?
Before joining the Teach For Bangladesh fellowship, I completed a degree in pharmacology and undertook an internship at Sanofi Aventis. Joining the fellowship was a major breakthrough for me and led me to pursue a career in education instead of as a pharmacist. As part of my current work in Education in Emergencies I work with people who have fled from beyond my country’s borders. This has given me an insight to educational inequality across the world and motivated me to continue my journey towards ending educational inequity.