Singapore Committee for UN Women has released a film to educate and engage the public around the crisis that is impacting hundreds of thousands of lives in the Asia Pacific.
The film, created by Click2View, aims to help raise awareness around the ongoing refugee crisis which saw nearly 700,000 people fleeing their homes and persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar for neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017.
It centres on two women Hasina and Hazera, and tells the stories of them living in the camps and residing in tents. Instead of portraying them as victims, the goal of the video was to share how they were overcoming adversity to empower themselves and others in the camp. In addition, many of the men, women and child have little to no access to toilets and basic amenities.
Hazera, a 25-year-old and a mother of three, fled Burma after the military burnt down her house. During the 10 day journey to Bangladesh, the military beat her husband while they tried to flee the country and the whole family didn’t consume any food in seven days.
Now in Bangladesh, she completed a tailoring course from the Multi-Purpose Women’s Centre run by UN Women and ActionAid. She hopes to earn more money using her tailoring skills.
“More than half of refugees in Cox’s Bazar are women and girls. Every day, they face the threat of violence and abuse in the camps,” said Georgette Tan, the president of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, stressing the crucial need for action and help. “With the establishment of safe spaces in camps, they can begin to heal from the traumas they have suffered and begin to rebuild their lives.”
The video debuted at the Singapore Committee for UN Women’s SNOW (Say No to the Oppression of Women) Gala, which aimed to raise funds to help those in the camp. After the film, the audience was asked to make a special donation by raising their paddle and after the donations were tallied, it emerged there was a 120% increase in the number of donations, compared to the previous year.