by Nat Crewe; DRG Team Leader
Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh
The opposition political leader, and ex-Prime Minister decided to visit Cox’s Bazar today and he – and his supporters – made a big deal of visiting the refugee camps. This created tensions between political parties, some fairly passionate and violent protesting and absolute mayhem on the roads into the camps. As a result it was decided that it was safer for the team to remain in Cox’s Bazar for the day and get on top of some chores and supplies that we need to support the project.
Kate and I met up the with CARE Emergency Response Specialist – Team Leader, Iljitsj Wemerman and discussed an ongoing working arrangement with DRG which would include a roving medical team or even popping our heads into the CARE clinics and giving feedback or helping out.
We also liaised with Nonviolent Peace Force NGO who are very keen for us to get involved with their local network of Rohingya refugees who, in turn, are very much hoping to get involved with their local communities. This partnership would tie in very nicely with the DRG idea of training local community members to assist in developing a camp ‘ambulance service’, whereby they would be employed to identify and extricate ill or injured patients to their local clinic.
Alex and Simon breezed into IOM headquarters wearing nothing but shorts and t-shirts, and confidently requested A3 maps of the areas. People couldn’t have been more accommodating, and assured them they would be ready within 24 hours. These two are legends!
The highlight of the day, however, was undoubtedly the hand-written job application we received from a Rohingya refugee who is just bursting to work with our team! We were all honoured and humbled to receive such a well thought-out and detailed letter.
Plans for tomorrow are unfolding rapidly, however there is every chance that we will be heading into the deep south to meet some incoming refugees.
If you would like to help our mission, you can donate to the Backpacker Medics cause here: https://chuffed.org/project/bpmdrg-bangladesh#/supporters