The Amazing Story of the Rohingya Football Team: A Light of Hope in the Midst of Genocide

24 Eylül – September 24, 2020

Konuşmacılar/Speakers: Saifullah Muhammad and Dr. Nora Didkowsky

4:00 p.m. UTC+3 (Istanbul Time)

Saifullah Muhammad 

Saifullah Muhammad is a Rohingya youth human rights activist in Canada. He is a Journalism graduate and currently a Master’s student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo. He is a co-founder of the ‘Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative’ a leading Rohingya organization that works with the government of Canada and civil society groups to bring an end of the Rohingya genocide and to promote innovative education for the Rohingya and community development. Muhammad currently works as an assistant researcher in collaboration with the UNHCR Canada and St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia on the social behavior of Rohingya refugee children in India and Bangladesh.

Muhammad was born in Burma (Myanmar) and brought up in refugee camps in Bangladesh. His parent still lives in the same refugee camp. Muhammad witnessed first-hand devastating outcomes of the Rohingya crisis. He studied in Bangladesh and received a scholarship from the Nottingham University in Malaysia through the UNHCR scholarship program.  He worked as a reporter for various news agencies such as the Kaladan Press Network, Rohingya Vision, Reuters, AFP, New York Times and different local media in Malaysia to highlight the Rohingya crisis.

Muhammad regularly attends and speaks at international conferences organized by UNICEF, United Nations, civil society groups and governments. He testified before the Human Rights Committee at the House of Commons on the Rohingya crisis. He often appears on Canadian televisions, newspapers and writes Op-Eds and articles. Muhammad has recently awarded the most dedicated journalist by Waterloo Region Record.

Nora Didkowsky, PhD

Rotary Peace Fellow 2020 Dr. Didkowsky is a researcher, development practitioner, and leadership facilitator in the fields of child and youth development, socio-ecological resilience, and participatory community development. For the past 20 years, she has had the privilege of partnering with multi-sectoral teams, communities, and populations made vulnerable, to understand and foster environments that enable peace and resilience. She uses participative, visually-based methods to understand youths’ experiences of trauma, risk and resilience, and how they make meaning from these experiences. Most recently she has collaborated with humanitarian practitioners, refugee partners, developmental scientists, and families living in refugee settlements, toward tailoring culturally-responsive play-based supports that enhance the positive development of refugee children and youth. She is passionate about research and community development that values local knowledge; prioritizes community participation and ownership in planning, design, and delivery; uses place-based assets to address problems; takes a proactive approach to community change; creates multilevel, collaborative governance structures; and advances cooperation and understanding locally and globally.