Shamshu, 25 – Testimony of Rohingya

Published 29th December 2018

A divorced woman who lives alone risks much more to live in harsh poverty than one in a household where a man lives.
When asked: “What do you need?” She replied: “I have nothing at all, I need everything”. Generally, Rohingya women rarely go outside on their own and do not talk to strangers. Hence, it is hard for supporting services to reach women’s only families. Shamshu has been traumatized, she is anxious and alone. Everything she says is negative, it gives me the sad impression that she has giving up on life.
(Akin, Doctors of the World Nurse)


I came here a year ago. What I am having most troubles with in my life now is food and clothes. Rice is distributed only once a month. Most of the time I cannot cook, there is no electricity not even a bucket, because of that I cannot carry water.


Last summer, many horrible things happened: abduction, rape, arson, murder. My cousin was killed in the midst of everyone’s escape. I also saw the military killing five people at a time.

I ran away and ran for a while until I couldn’t hear any more violence. After that, I thought that I could manage to live somehow and I went back to the village once, but my house was also burnt and there was no more trace of it. Then, with my neighbours, we fled all the way here after hiding in the mountains for 10 to 12 days.

Now I am living here alone. Recently I got ill, but I cannot buy any medicine because I do not have any money. For about 10 days I was patiently surviving in these conditions, but I am slowly losing patience and becoming more and more anxious. Loneliness doesn’t help.

©Kazuo Koishi

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