You are here

UNFPA reaches out to the most vulnerable people on the planet, including people with disabilities. Here are some stories on why they find relief, peace and happiness in attending sessions and being together in the UNFPA-supported Women Friendly Spaces (WFS) in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar. UNFPA continues to work and advocate for a world where no one is left behind and where everyone has the same rights, choices and opportunities to lead a healthy and thriving life.

UNFPA thanks the Government of Australia for its continuous and relentless support of this protracted humanitarian crisis.

There is no discrimination in the Women Friendly Spaces (WFS). Rohingya Women have been coming and attending regular gender-based violence awareness sessions, as well they have learned the arts of sewing and hand-stitching in these shanti khanas (peaceful heavens). 

“We feel comfortable here. We are happy. This space gives us all that we could ask for”. 

More spacious than their homes in the camps, WFSs provide a community kitchen, where women can cook together and create a deeper social bonding. There are showers, a playground for children, and a prayer room. 

“It feels like a second home, we come regularly and we feel safe here. We learn many new things and we share our new experiences and knowledge with our community” women in the WFS exclaim in unison. 

Rohingya community volunteers are the key to unlocking the importance of these spaces. They raise awareness door-to-door, and they have been assiduously inviting women with disabilities to WFS. Read the powerful words from Sabekunnahar, Farida and Rozia, girls and women with speech disabilities and regular visitors to the UNFPA-supported WFSs. 

Sabekunnahar, 25 years old

“In the WFS I learned sewing and stitching. I feel joy in coming here with my caregiver, my sister, who is always with me and I am forever grateful for her help. I have two children and my dream is to be able to apply all the knowledge and skill-set that I have learned here in the WFS to be able to earn an income and raise my kids”

Farida, 30 years old

“My Heart grows big when I attend the WFS, a safe and joyful place. I see many women, who have become my friends, and I chat with volunteers and caseworkers My heart is small when I am home, I feel lonely and I want some company. My mother is old, my brothers are all married and they live far away from us."

Rozia, 10 years old

“I love coming to the WFS where I am learning to paint masks and decorate them with different styles and colours. I love playing with other kids in the playground, running around free! I can also cut paper and make colourful flowers out of it, this is beautiful! This is my favourite place in the world to be in!”