Solar lanterns bring light — and hope — to Rohingya refugees
Since August 25, 2017, the day violence broke out in Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya — a stateless ethnic minority — have fled to Bangladesh. After walking for days through jungles and mountains or braving dangerous sea voyages across the Bay of Bengal, they crossed the border hungry, sick and traumatized by violence and sexual abuse.
Most Rohingya refugees live in Kutupalong refugee camp where, thanks to the generosity of caring Americans, they’ve received humanitarian assistance. In addition to food, clean water, shelter and healthcare, the UN Refugee Agency provides each family with a solar lantern that lights up the night — and ignites hope.
An aerial shot of Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh lit up by UNHCR-supplied solar lanterns given to new arrivals. Since violence broke out in Myanmar in August 2017, hundreds of thousands of refugees have found safety in Kutupalong.
Rohingya children sit beneath a solar lantern. In addition to spending time together in safety, solar lanterns enable girls and boys to complete their homework after dark.
Solar lanterns also double as mobile phone chargers, which enable refugees to stay in touch with relatives and receive information about access to food and other assistance from the UN Refugee Agency.