5 years ago, my friend sat in her family home in a village in Rakhine state. Several years earlier her father and older brother had left for Malaysia where they had secured work. Now, with their safety in Myanmar decreasing, it was time for her to start the journey to Malaysia as well, along with her mother and 3 younger siblings. They boarded boats run by human traffickers and made their way to Malaysia.
Soon after they arrived, my friend was married off at the age of 16. The marriage quickly turned violent and she returned home to her parents. She took advantage of a local community learning centre to start learning English and very quickly she and her younger brother gained conversational fluency in English, studying and reading whenever they could. Recently, her family once again compelled her to marry. My friend was heartbroken to hear that her schooling would end.
However, within weeks of her arrival at her new apartment complex, she made it known that she wanted to be a teacher and started a basic literacy class for small kids. With some small supports she has been teaching the Latin alphabet, the Arabic alphabet, vocabulary and writing. Her class has expanded to include 7 young children as well as 4 Rohingya young mothers who live in her building. She has found a way to continue to pursue her dreams and build a community in her new surroundings.
– for success in her efforts to build community and trust amongst Rohingya women, and that it could grow into an access point to offer other support services and care for these women
– for protection in their marriages
– for the education needs of refugee children in Malaysia. They cannot attend national schools and community learning centres are inadequate, and not available in many places. They desire for their children to learn so they will have a chance at a better future
– that these women would sense our presence and help as love they can trust and that we would always point them to the Father who loves them as precious daughters.