Almost one million Rohingya refugees live in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – the largest refugee camp in the world. Most arrived in 2017, fleeing persecution, widespread violence and human rights violations in Myanmar. To support the resilience of the camp’s large youth population, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) funds life skills education, including to support, protect and empower adolescent girls and to initiate discussions on gender equality and violence among both young boys and girls. UN Volunteers like Urmi Tanchangya helps to bring hope and resilience to these refugees.
Urmi Tanchangya is a national UN Volunteer Programme Assistant with UNFPA's Adolescents and Youth Unit. Her assignment contributes to UNFPA’s Humanitarian Forcibly Displaced Persons Response Project in Cox’s Bazar. She supports programme management, administration and monitoring and evaluation.
Urmi builds the capacity of UNFPA’s implementing partners to ensure maximum impact. She also creates adolescent and youth-led advocacy platforms, community-based groups and community protection networks that play a role in behavioral change towards gender inequality and power imbalance in their families and communities.
The Girl Shine Programme delivers structured sessions on gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health rights. The curriculum aspires to reduce gender-based violence, including child marriage. Urmi contributed to the sensitization of male and female caregivers, community leaders and local stakeholders to ensure the participation of girls.
By June 2022, 1,433 adolescent girls, including 317 from host communities and 22 with disabilities, had completed life skills sessions. These equipped them with knowledge and skills to realize their sexual and reproductive health, dignity and well-being. The young Rohingya girls gained knowledge and ability to identify different types of gender-based violence and seek support if they experience or are at risk of the same.
Adolescents and youth are among the driving factors of a community. As they go through physical and psychological changes, it is crucial to feed them with key messages and information to guide their development. --Urmi Tanchangya, national UN Volunteer Programme Assistant with UNFPA, Bangladesh
Urmi has also played a key role in rolling out the comprehensive sexual education module in the Rohingya context. She ensured the inclusivity of youth centres built at Rohingya camps and played a lead role in organizing and establishing an up-to-date information management system.
Urmi seeks to impact the lives of adolescents and youth, always aiming at providing the best services to beneficiaries. Undoubtedly, she is an asset to the Adolescent and Youth Unit in Cox's Bazar. --Laura Brandao, Humanitarian Officer with the Adolescent and Youth Unit of UNFPA, Bangladesh