After fleeing their home in Myanmar, Shovika Mia holds her newborn daughter in a makeshift tent in Bangladesh

© photo by AF Ghani/IFRC

In a makeshift camp in Bangladesh, 25-year-old Shovika Mia holds her newborn daughter.

Shovika gave birth to baby Nur Halima in the hills while fleeing her home in Myanmar.

She and her husband, Shona, are among the more than 436,000 people who have fled a sudden increase in violence in Rakhine State.

Back home, the young couple had a house and four cows that provided a stable income.

But their house was burned in the violence. And as they fled, their cows were shot.

Now, they live in an informal camp for new arrivals to Bangladesh.

Shona, 27, has found work as a day labourer for around £2.70 a day. And although Shovika feels weak herself, her main worry is for her baby’s future.

Too young to understand
After fleeing their home in Myanmar, three-year old Noor Akish sits next to her mother Fatima who is holding her one-year-old son on her lap in a tent in Bangladesh

© photo by AF Ghani/IFRC

Around 80 per cent of the new arrivals in Bangladesh are women and children.

Many had to walk for days and others took boats, some of which were not safe.

Three-year-old Noor Akish is traumatised by the ten-day journey her family had to make.

Born without a hand, she found the trip extremely difficult and clings to her mother, Noor Fatima, who is only 21 herself.

With their father Sayid Amin and one-year-old brother Noor Hakim, they are living in an informal camp in Cox’s Bazar.

Although their house back in Rakhine was burned, Noor is too young to understand why they had to leave.

A birth brings joy and sorrow
After fleeing their home in Myanmar, Rehana Begum cradles her baby in her arms in their makeshift tent in Bangladesh

© photo by AF Ghani/IFRC

When Rehana Begum fled Myanmar she was heavily pregnant with twins.

Along with her husband Sulaiman and their three-year-old son, they struggled across mountains for three days. They spent another two days sleeping on the side of the road once they crossed the border.

On the day they arrived at a makeshift camp in Bangladesh, she gave birth to a boy and a girl.

The baby boy died during the birth and Sulaiman had to bury him in an unmarked grave in the mud next to their tent.

With no food or clean water, the exhausted new mother prays every day for help to arrive. She doesn’t know how she will take care of her newborn daughter or deal with the loss of her son.

British Red Cross partner, the Bangladesh Red Crescent, has set up a water treatment operation near the camp to help people like Rehana and her family.

They have also provided food to 75,000 people, as well as other essentials such as water containers and blankets.

A friendship that saved a life
After fleeing their home in Myanmar, 15-year-old Mohammed and his friend Rabiullah sit on the floor of a makeshift tent in BangladeshHasan

© photo by AF Ghani/IFRC

Fifteen-year-old Mohammed Hasan has already suffered more than most children his age.

His father died when he was four, and after a bout of polio he lost the use of his legs aged just eight.

To help Mohammed escape the violence in Rakhine State, family friend Rabiullah carried him on his back for four days until they reached the camp in Bangladesh.

Every day Rabiullah brings Mohammed food and water, and takes him outside the tent to get a glimpse of the world outside.

Even though they are living in miserable conditions, Mohammed says he is happy that his friend is keeping him company and taking care of him.

From the oldest to the youngest
After fleeing the family home in Myanmar, 90-year-old Gulser looks straight into the camera in her makeshift tent in Bangladesh

© photo by AF Ghani/IFRC

Mohammed Hossain carried his 90-year-old mother Gulser on his back for five long days as he fled Myanmar with his wife and five children.

The family finally found shelter at the top of a hill in a makeshift camp near Cox’s Bazar.

Although Gulser is unable to walk or go to the toilet by herself, every day she stays in the tent to look after the children. Mohammed and his wife spend the day going down the road to find food, water and money.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent are increasing our efforts to help people who have fled Myanmar.

In addition to the food, water and mobile health clinics, we will provide cash grants so families can start small businesses to support themselves.

We will also help families, who became separated during the escape from Myanmar, to find each other again.

The stories used in this piece were collected by Corinne Ambler, who is working in Bangladesh with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.