As is the case with any atrocity, the most helpless and vulnerable victims of Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing operations against the Rohingya are children.
Out of the half a million Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar, almost 300,000 are children.
Some of these children have been orphaned, their houses destroyed, their families subjected to unspeakable horrors.
These children have seen things no child should ever have to see, and even the best of our efforts to provide them some sanctuary will fall short.
But it is heartening to see that many children have found a feeling of safety and shelter in the myriad schools set up by aid groups.
These schools, along with teaching subjects like English and mathematics, provide a safe haven for those who have felt the brunt of the Myanmar government’s persecution, and are reeling from the trauma.
But the sad truth is that the number of schools which have been set up is nowhere near enough to cater to the vast pool of Rohingya children who need help -- Unicef estimates that 1,300 schools would need to be built to really cater to the whole refugee population.
The work done so far deserves praise, and much more could be done with the right resources. Certainly, these children deserve it -- many of them never went to school, as Myanmar treated them with scorn and denied them their rights.
After what these children have already been through, it may be too late to protect their innocence, but the least we can do is give them a safe place where they can try to heal.