“I am feeling very happy to get an opportunity to engage myself in a livelihood activity. Through mask packaging my self-esteem increases and I have more confidence as previously I was neglected due to the inability to use my left hand. Now, I want to do more.”
– Isala Khatun, a 39-year-old Rohingya woman and mother of four children living in Kutupalong mega camp, the largest refugee settlement in the world.
Isala’s left hand was burnt by a fire incident when she was 8 years old, and employers have refused to engage her in work due to her inability to use her hand, even though she wants to support her family’s daily needs. Last month, Isala was selected to participate in mask packaging by BRAC, a partner in the Cox’s Bazar Livelihoods Working Group’s mask-making initiative. Isala worked for 5 days and was able to purchase fish, vegetables and other items for her family. Her children were happy to see their mother engaged in a livelihood activity.
Livelihoods Working Group partners are engaging many Rohingya persons with disabilities like Isala in mask packaging work, providing refugees with a new avenue to contribute to their community in the COVID-19 response.