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    Reuniting in joy, celebrating what unites us

    Day 305

    Rekindling Friendships

    Hello hello everybody! It’s Shamaila, back in Bangladesh and doing the doable with our partner Anando! I’m visiting the incredible Rohingya women at a refugee camp near Cox’s bazaar, who I had worked with before but hadn’t seen in quite some time. It was so wonderful to see – and work with them- again.

    Given the unease around what the future holds for these women and their families, we felt that a reunion, complete with an afternoon full of fun, joy, and connection was in order! Many times, meaningful friendships with people like me, a person from outside their community, signifies hope that change is possible.

    This afternoon of fun was the perfect way to solidify everything that came with our friendship.

    We kicked off our time together with a lunch party featuring a handpicked menu delivered from a local lunch hotspot that the Rohingya community rarely got to frequent. With gratitude in her eyes, one of the women said, “This is the second time I am eating meat since we fled to Bangladesh 18 months ago.”

    We also brought loads of art supplies – everything from markers, paint, colored paper, scissors to pipe cleaners, stickers, and even henna! While I may speak a different language and am from a different cultural background, it was clear we were bound by our commonalities, including our deep appreciation for art as a tool to express ourselves.

    As the women drew, painted, shared, and created their pieces of art, I looked around with wonder and appreciation for the scene that quickly unfolded in front of me. I saw stories of these women’s homes, their animals, their gardens – a lot of what “used to be” – but also images of hope, belief, and love, which elevated my own belief in a better tomorrow.

     

    Meet Shamaila! Shamaila is part of the Global Connections team based out of Minneapolis. She supports partnerships and fundraising for Alight’s initiatives with the diaspora, LGBTIQ+ refugees, Rohingya women, and beyond! She is deeply passionate about supporting the most marginalized communities worldwide – those living in the shadows — to reclaim their voice and has found Changemakers 365 a powerful tool to support this.

     

     

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