'They tried to kill me, but I ran': Rohingya refugee kids on how they wound up in Cox's Bazar

A year on from the Rohingya crisis, thousands of children are living in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh without their parents. 

It's estimated there are more than 6000 unaccompanied children living in the camp.

Half of them say their parents or main caregivers were killed by the Myanmar military, leaving them as orphans - and 9 percent were separated from their parents as they fled across the border to Bangladesh. 

In camp three in Cox's Bazar lives 12-year-old Mohammed Fisal, who one day hopes he'll be a police officer.

His dreams and aspirations are typical of any young boy, but what he endured in his homeland is anything but ordinary.

"The Myanmar military killed my parents. They came and shot them in our house," he told Newshub.

When the military arrived in his village, Mohamed says he was outside playing with friends. 

"They tried to kill me too, but I ran away and hid in the forest." 

He stayed in the forest for days - without food or water and just his mates by his side. Eventually, they got across the border into Bangladesh. 

"When my parents died, I joined another family and came to Bangladesh with them."

All of the children who have arrived in Cox's Bazar have arrived with nothing more than the clothing on their backs - no toys, no books and, in many cases, very little support. 

There are some learning opportunities provided by aid agencies including Tearfund's partners, but there's no formal higher education after primary school. 

It's a case of getting by with what you've got; a few old plastic bottle tops and a piece of wood provided a moment of amusement, but otherwise there's nothing much on offer. 

Further up the road, Newshub met Sayeda Bugam, whose husband and parents were also killed in Myanmar. 

"I want to say to the people of New Zealand and the world, we just want citizenship in Myanmar and our freedom. Another thing I want is peace."

Peace is all the people want. And they want to be treated with dignity - to be recognised as a people. 

For now though, they are resigned to a life in limbo, passing the day in a place nobody calls home. 

If you'd like to support the people there, you can donate to Tearfund's Rohingya Crisis Appeal by visiting tearfund.org.nz or calling 0800 800 777.