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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 259-266

Focus group discussions with Rohingya adolescents on current and future perceived needs and wants from two distinct cohorts in Bangladesh

1 PhD, Mental Health, Care Practices, Gender and Protection (ex)Head of Department in Bangladesh, Action Against Hunger (ACF), Canada
2 MSc, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 PhD (c), School of Family Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
4 MPh, Deputy Program Manager in Bangladesh, ACF, Canada
5 PhD (c), Faculty of Education, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
6 PhD, Senior Advisor for Mental Health, Care Practices, Gender and Protection Sector, ACF, Paris, France

Correspondence Address:
Joel Montanez
Health Experiences Research Group, St. Mary’s Hospital Centre, 3830 Lacombe Avenue, Hayes Pavilion, Suite 4720, Montréal, QC H3T 1M5, Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_24_19

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Qualitative interviews were conducted with 24 single teenagers (aged 13–17) within gender-defined groups, 12 from Myanmar (arriving on or after the August 2017 influx) and 12 who were born in Bangladesh, to identify current and perceived future needs and wants of Rohingya adolescents. Participants reported that needs and wants were often associated with difficult lived experiences in Myanmar or Bangladesh. General results from both groups highlight the need to prioritise education and freedom of movement, as well as eradicating bullying and harassment. Other priorities that crossed cohorts included independence, citizenship, identity, restitution of land and property and access to nutritious and varied food. Myanmar-born females prioritised health, wellbeing, family and dignity-related needs, while Myanmar-born males highlighted needs involving restitution and both education and marriage for their siblings. Adolescents of both genders born in Bangladesh prioritised rights involving education, freedom and movement and reported a need to contribute to society beyond the Rohingya community. Female and male adolescents born in Myanmar expressed contrasting perceptions regarding the needs of the other gender. Unprompted answers suggested prioritising mental health management and community support to tackle the collective traumatic memories of the group of adolescents born in Myanmar. Overall findings would suggest tailoring interventions in accordance with the needs of distinct cohorts and genders, and to facilitate awareness among adolescents of the needs of other distinct groups.

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