Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University (CPJ), under its Refugee Studies Unit (RSU) organised the Project Inception and Strategic Partnership Development Workshop under a newly launched project titled ‘Strengthening Social Cohesion and Resilience in Cox’s Bazar by Engaging Rohingya Refugee and Host Community.’ This 12-month-long project is funded by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The event was held on September 22, 2021 at a hotel in Cox’s Bazar where multi-sectoral stakeholders took part.
The overarching purpose of the event was to introduce the project activities and to develop a strategic partnership with the government and non-government stakeholders with whom CPJ will work with under this project.
Manzoor Hassan OBE, Executive Director of CPJ inaugurated the event. Shahariar Sadat, Director, Academic and Legal Empowerment, CPJ moderated the sessions.
Georgina Mtenga, C4D Specialist and Team Lead; Mousumi Tripura, C4D Officer, also focal of this project, took part at the event from UNICEF while C4D Specialist, Mohammad Alamgir connected virtually to enrich the event. C4D (Communication for Development)is all the different types of communication that need to take place in societies if sustainable democratic development is to occur.
Md Nasim Ahmed, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development and Human Resource Management) and Parvez Chowdhury, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Teknaf graced the event from government counterpart. They both enriched the project inception event with their valuable inputs while delivering speeches separately.
Md. Gafor Uddin, Chairman of Palongkhali Union Parishad under Ukhia Upazila participated the event as a representative of the local government.
Rashadul Hasan, Project Manager, CPJ, gave an overview on the project along with the aims and objectives. He mentioned that the output of this project will help to reach the key factors of social cohesion and resilience and protective factors amidst the host and the Rohingya community.
Shahariar Sadat introduced CPJ and RSU with the audience with its vision and mission. He demonstrated on how CPJ believes in participatory action research to create knowledge and changing society for better belief.
Georgina Mtenga said, “All human beings deserve to live peacefully. Whatever we are doing, it is building trust among us. Even if they go back to their country, we can still have a good relation with them.’ She proposed to make a bridge among both the communities.
Parvez Chowdhury stated, “this is a massive initiative for the Host and FDMN community. Everyone has different opinions. However, in this study even if hundreds of people all give different opinions, it is important for us to identify the key factors.” Mr. Chowdhury has assured his cooperation for the work of this project.
Manzoor Hasan said that, “Our ultimate motive is to send them back safely, however as long as they are here it is our responsibility to objectify those issues so that they can stay here safely.” He concluded the project inception and strategic partnership development workshop with the vote of thanks.
Under this project, before commencing the intervention, CPJ will identify key drivers of social cohesion in both host and refugee communities in Cox’s Bazar by engaging youths and adolescents and relevant stakeholders. Additionally, a baseline and end line survey will be carried out to measure the effectiveness of the project. Meanwhile a training manual will be developed with the necessary information from the research component to exacerbate the capacity of UNICEF’s C4D partner staffs and 48 volunteers of CPJ.