Sofia is 8 years old and sells Samosas. She tries hard to sell the little goodies made by her mother at home to get some income.
Her little brother Abdul often comes with her. She appreciates the company, but she has to take care that he’s always with her. She carries the Samosas on a round Bamboo plate on her head. She has to be very careful to avoid bumping into people and dropping the Samosas. This happened once and she can still remember being beaten by her mum afterwards. Despite all this, she likes her job. It’s much easier than what her older sister has to do. She has to chop wood. At 7:00AM, she waits with the other boys and girls for the blue truck to drive them to the wood. She uses a very big knife to chop. At 5:00PM, she comes back with hurting blisters on her hands. Her sister Amirah is 13 years old. She’s turning 14 soon. Then she won’t have to work anymore. She will help their mum at home. She won’t be allowed to go out without wearing her burka and somebody accompanying her. Sofia never wants to turn 14. It’s much better to remain young.
Her father sometimes catches a blue truck too. He works in a quarry. But he’s ill quite often. He coughs a lot and often has high fever, which prevents him from going to work.
After selling all her Samosas, Sofia runs home. Her mother waits in the little bamboo hut with rice and fish curry. After the meal, Sofia takes a shower and dresses to go to the Madrassa (religious school). Once dressed, she will walk with her best friend Aisha to the Madrassa.
This is one typical day in Sofia’s life. Like Sofia, many other young children face a challenging and difficult daily life.
Please take some time to pray and reflect on what it means to walk in her shoes and pray for Sofia, her family and other Rohingya children who are faced with very similar life circumstances.