Some 16 graduate students at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) took part in an educational and humanitarian trip to Bangladesh recently, it was announced.
In a statement, HBKU noted that the trip was aimed at providing a deeper understanding the crisis engulfing Myanmar and the plight of Rohingya refugees.
The trip, held in collaboration with Qatar Charity (QC), was preceded by a series of educational workshops on disaster management before distributing relief goods.
The expedition started in the city of Dhaka with a group briefing and proceeded to the relief station at Cox’s Bazar, a port city, which hosts a significant number of Rohingya refugee camps.
The relief tour concluded with a reception at the Qatar embassy in Bangladesh, which was attended by Qatar ambassador to Bangladesh Ahmed Mohammed Nasser al-Dehaimi.
“Qatar Charity is pleased to jointly co-operate with HBKU in the field of humanitarian response and international relief work, furthering its graduates’ abilities to play pioneering roles in economic and social development at home and abroad,” QC’s media and communication executive director Ali Ateeq al-Abdullah said.
He added that interacting with the refugees deepened the participants’ understanding of the many lives that have been gravely affected during this ongoing humanitarian crisis.
“As a result of the relief work the HBKU team conducted to alleviate suffering amongst the refugees, participating students were able to gain a new appreciation for the common human values they share with those living in crisis,” al-Abdullah said.
“Through our joint work with the students, we are happy that we were able to underscore the importance of volunteering as an important aspect of learning,” al-Abdullah explained.
Faisal Ahmed al-Mohannadi, senior student engagement supervisor at HBKU who was on the trip, said: “Our service learning expeditions helped HBKU graduate students gain an understanding of complex global challenges – be they developmental, socio-economic or humanitarian in nature.”
“This trip to Bangladesh provided students with an opportunity to learn more about the current Rohingya refugee crisis. With the support of QC, we succeeded in delivering a number of services to this distressed community,” he noted.
“In addition, our time in Bangladesh gave us the rare opportunity to directly engage with the refugees and hear about their moving experiences. This gave us a unique perspective we would have only been able achieve by venturing outside of our comfort zone,” al-Mohannadi added.
In Bangladesh, the HBKU team visited Rohingya camps and donated ready-to-eat meals, food products, clothes, tents, and hygiene kits.
They also visited hospitals to gain a deeper insight into the unique medical concerns being faced by the displaced Rohingya community.
Rashid al-Marri, a Juris Doctor student at HBKU and expedition member, said: “My trip to the Rohingya camps is of special educational significance for me because I personally observed the extent to which displaced refugees are in need of life essentials such as food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, and healthcare.”
The humanitarian assistance team from HBKU also organised a series of recreational activities to engage Rohingya children living in refugee settlements and orphanages in Bangladesh.
Such efforts were designed to help the youth develop their communication skills and maintain their cognitive, emotional, social and physical abilities.
Every year, graduate students from HBKU volunteer to assist underprivileged communities around the world.
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