There is a crisis at hand in Myanmar, which has led almost 400,000 Rohingya people to make the dangerous journey to Bangladesh. Many of these refugees are living in squalor and are in desperate need of assistance. We at Jubbas have stepped up with a charitable initiative that has the aim of helping the Rohingya people.
However, we also understand that many people may not even be aware of the crisis. Here we will take a look at what has led to a situation wherein so many hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people have been displaced.
Who are the Rohingya?
The Rohingya are an ethnic group that has traditionally called Myanmar, formerly Burma, their home. Descended from traders of Arabic origin, the group has grown over generations, though the group is still considered a minority in the country that it calls home.
Unfortunately, the government in Myanmar does not believe that the Rohingya are legitimate citizens of the country, despite the group having lived in Myanmar for generations. As a result, the Rohingya are classed as illegal immigrants in their own country.
Thousands upon thousands of Rohingya families are forced to live in camps, with the situation having worsened since 2012. That is when communal violence first forced thousands of Rohingya families to leave their homes, with many ending up in Bangladesh, while thousands more made their homes in the increasingly crowded and decrepit Myanmar camps.
Today, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, though many of them do not have proper documentation. As a result, they struggle to get steady jobs and are often forced to live in squalid conditions.
What is Happening to the Rohingya Now?
According to the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, the Rohingya people are victims of mass atrocities on an almost daily basis. The worst of this is that these atrocities are allegedly committed primarily by security forces who serve the Rakhine state, which is the area of Myanmar that over one million Rohingya people call home.
Journalists have been unable to visit the area, but the United Nations notes that the Rohingya are collectively being punished for several isolated insurgent attacks, with some believing that the destruction of the Rohingya people is the ultimate goal.
All of this means that the Rohingya are in a situation where they have not only been rejected by their home nation, but are actively being persecuted for their very existence. Outside of Bangladesh, few other regions are sympathetic to their plight, which means there are almost no options for the Rohingya. They either stay in Myanmar and attempt to survive, or make the difficult journey to Bangladesh, where more hardships await.
It should be noted that the Myanmar government states that the reports of the mistreatment of the Rohingya are “distorted”. However, the weight of the evidence that suggests otherwise is massive.
How Can You Help?
Several charitable organisations are collecting donations in an effort to help the displaced Rohingya, as well as those that have chosen to stay in Myanmar.
For our part, we are offering several items on our online store. The proceeds from the sale of these items will go towards the Rohingya relief efforts. Please join us in our efforts to create a better future for the Rohingya of Myanmar.
Image Courtesy of AK Rockefeller - https://www.flickr.com/photos/akrockefeller/7323628618