What’s Happening to Rohingya Muslims?
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority community living in the Buddhist-majority country of Myanmar. The government classes them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, but Bangladesh refuses to acknowledge them as well. As such, they remain stateless; unwanted by both their countrymen and their neighbours.
As far back as 2013, Human Rights Watch wrote a report on the government-sponsored violence that the Rohingya Muslim community was facing. It found that attacks were organised and coordinated in an attempt to forcibly relocate them. At the time, this led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya.
In October 2016, the situation worsened. Four months later, the UN published a report based on interviews of survivors who'd fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. It found that the Rohingya had faced mass killings (including the killing of babies and children), beatings, disappearances, mass gang rape, torture, and the burning down of their villages and houses with people still inside. Attackers killed an eight-month-old baby while his mother, 25-year old Yae Khat Chaung Gwa Son, watched, as she was gang-raped by five soldiers.
Interviews with Rohingya victims revealed that while being raped, rounded up, or beaten, they were told: “You are Bangladeshis and you should go back”, as well as: “What can your Allah do for you? See what we can do?”
Reports point to the army and the police as being responsible for these attacks. Other times, it was civilian, Buddhist mobs – and security forces stood aside and watched.
For those who reach Bangladesh alive, their biggest struggle is not even the lack of shelter or water. Their biggest struggle is the lack of food.
What is Charity Right Doing to Help?
Our organisation provides long-lasting, life-changing support. We want to give people the opportunity to help themselves and their families – so we invest in their education, knowing that education is the key to escaping poverty.
But education can only do so much. A hungry child can’t learn, which is why the provision of food must come first. For this reason, we’re dedicated to providing school meals to children who live in poverty.
Charity Right-supported schools receive at least one meal every single day. For many children, it’s their only source of food. Due to this sad fact, parents are keen to send children to class, and attendance rates have rocketed across all of the countries we work in.
At the beginning of 2017, we started supporting schools in Cox’s Bazar: the area in Bangladesh that the Rohingya have been fleeing to. We support six schools, which provide 634 Rohingya students with daily meals.
Aside from the schools we support, we also provide regular monthly food packs to families in dire need. Over a thousand individuals from the Rohingya community receive three daily meals from Charity Right.
On Eid Al-Adha 2017, we distributed 52 Qurbanis to these same families.
Rohingya Emergency Food Appeal
In September 2017, the UN admitted that the violence against the Rohingya is a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”. In the space of three weeks, 400,000 Rohingya were forced to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh.
Our on the ground team visited Cox's Bazar, which is the coastal district in Bangladesh that the Rohingya are fleeing to. After assessing the situation, they found that the number one concern for the Rohingya is not shelter or clothing, but food. We’ve already begun distributing emergency food packs, but in order to help the thousands that need food, we need your support.
We encourage you to donate to our Rohingya emergency food appeal in one or more ways:
1. Donate a £55 emergency food pack. It feeds one family for an entire month.
2. Provide ongoing, monthly support. Just £10 a month can make a huge difference.
3. Fundraise an unlimited amount using our fundraising platform: CR Stars
Small, Great Things
It's easy to fall into a state of despair over the condition of Muslims (and people of all faiths) across the world. However, we can and should combat this feeling by doing something positive. Being part of the effort to alleviate the hardship of our brothers and sisters will help us to feel more positive about the future.
We may not be able to change the condition of the world, but just like Martin Luther King said: we can do small, great things.
Support us at charityright.org.uk/rohingya
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