Age Friendly Space (AFS) for Rohynga Older People Refugee
Description of Age-Friendly Space (AFS)
“Now this space is only pleasure and comfort for me- now I feel I’m not abandoned, excluded, neglected & totally rejected, still some room is allocated for me in the so large globe”.
62-year-old Rohingya Woman Refugee who is regularly visiting and use this space.
Age-Friendly space is defined, making arrangement for the older male and female Rohingya refugees for staying, spending time with care and supports, services, equally for sharing and exchange Resource Integration Center established the Age-Friendly Space in. Physically RIC’s Age-friendly Space AFS is long tin sheet house and space are being divided and distributed for multiple uses. Space distribution is also considered male-female separation for more free and easy utilization of space. The principle is to ensure total friendliness – faith and culture appropriate arrangement. So there major sub-pace waiting room, recreation room and health services point have been divided female-male separately WASH facilities also added to this space. Clean toilet with Hand washing facilities and also the exclusive division of male and female toilet is also the vital attraction of the space. Another two elements of Age-friendly Space AFS is are becoming popular – Radio news and another counseling for traumatized older people because of the brutality of the Myanmar army at their Rakhine home. RIC is want to redefine the Age-Friendly space is more in social and solidarity terms. RIC director Abul Haseeb Khan said, “What we did in developing Age-friendly space is very primary – we want to transform age-friendly space into solidarity space with older Rohingya. Solidarity is internal and external level. Internally other age groups of refugees could respond to older people problems and also externally humanitarian services providers join this space to making solidarity with older groups.” RIC programme officer Rashid said, “Our present Age-friendly space is just starting –our vision is to make age-friendly space inbuilt in the design of all the humanitarian services for Rohingya Cox’s Bazar- just successful mainstreaming”
Eye Care Camp and winter clothes distribution
One of the main characteristics of this activity – it is not projected supports and delivery. It is a response to the call of the solidarity. Institutions and people from Bangladesh internally came forward and prioritized vulnerable older Rohingya problems and funded eye care and winter clothes distribution. One 70 years female Rohingya who received treatment from eye camp said, “Who are these people I don’t know but I ‘m praying for from my core of heart because none but only they did for the older best help”. One recipient of the distributed winter clothes said, For the first time I received winter clothes because I’m old – my needs were prioritized to others “ RIC field coordinator said, I am happy, Now I can read, Rafiq
Though our distribution quantitatively small; but now everyone has started to recognize this small supports has big merits and quality in terms inclusive humanitarian services
Age-friendly space made the impact on older people
In informal groups’ discussion of Age-friendly space users, one participant said, “I feel better when I come here. Because there people care all my needs and instill hope into me to live more despite unbearable grievances. Other participants also pointed out, “their living conditions are improved because they are receiving services without hazards and also could spend time comfortable way.
One of the participants of the discussion said, Not only me other members of my family is also benefited indirectly for this RIC programme because previously they had to care me, now I start to care them. “ RIC field coordinator said, Age-friendly space is in my consideration is a model works so both other older people could know about the space they are now desiring to be included in this programme”
Collection: Monju & Rashid