We’ve been watching the situation in the Rakhine province of Myanmar/ Burma with rising alarm. Often described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, the Rohnigya people are a stateless Muslim minority who have suffered discrimination and violence for decades. Anyone watching the news recently will have seen the population experiencing a new tragedy of historic proportions and heard some horrific stories of violence.
Around 400,000 men, women and children have fled to Bangladesh in just 3 weeks. We are clearly witnessing an enormous humanitarian crisis in one of the poorest countries of the world.
We are committed to helping refugees and internally displaced people in the greatest need and are determined to do something to help.
We have made contact with some of the key actors on the ground there and with a crisis of such proportions they are obviously struggling to cope. As a small NGO we are in no position to help everyone but we know we can help some of them with the essentials of life, delivered with dignity.
We have the opportunity. We have a line of communication to senior officials within the Bangladeshi government and Unicef. We have our experience in Calais and Greece. And we have the expertise of two highly experienced and capable humanitarian workers who have been central to our latest shop innovation in Greece and agreed to lead our mission in Bangladesh.
Daniel Mendies has been working in 20 camps across Greece for some of the leading agencies and this builds on a long career of humanitarian work in Kathmandu (children’s home), Afghanistan (landmine victims), Peshawar (free medical clinic), Uttarakhand (flood victims), Nepal (relief to 50,000 households) and Nuwakot (food distribution to 18,000 households). He also helped to found a Nepali think tank (Sangam Institute), is a conflict photographer and fluent speaker of all local languages.
Angus MacKinnon has lived in Myanmar as a student, a volunteer, a journalist, and a development worker (e.g. in Yangon after hurricane Nargis and in and Mong La) and has a thorough understanding of the social and ethnic mix. He has worked in Thailand (Mae Sot, Mae Sai, Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee camps), with refugees in Malaysia and the United States, and on development initiatives in Nepal, Pakistan, Ecuador and Southern Mexico.
They will spend October laying the groundwork for our operation which we will launch in November.
So we have the opportunity and the expertise. The other key element is the funding. You can help by donating. The need is enormous. Refugee camps are overflowing and makeshift camps are being set up. There is not enough food or clean water. Many have conflict injuries and people are scared.
Please be a part of the international response to help people in desperate circumstances by donating here:
Rest assured that every penny will go towards helping the Rohingya people (and myDonate has 0% commission). We will be building on our strong record of delivering aid with dignity to help those in greatest need.