First there is a loud cracking sound. Later there is smoke. Finally, flames shoot up. You can hear them roaring. The ground trembles.
Yesterday afternoon, the world’s largest refugee camp went up in flames again.
For the Rohingya people, the flames are their biggest nightmare. In August 2017, Burmese generals carried out an ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority. At that time, everything was burning. Entire villages, animals, adults and children were killed in the fire. Nearly a million Rohingya people made their way to Bangladesh. However, no one was waiting for them here.
The lives of each of them, no matter if they were once rich or poor, were confined to a few meters of bamboo shelter and an adjacent stream of flowing sewage. They are cramped, deprived of basic rights; deprived of the ability to work, study and leave the camp. They have not had their own place in the world for five years.
Two years ago, a large part of the camp burned down. The Rohingya people are not allowed to settle; hence the temporary shacks. The jungle of dry reeds, bamboo and leaves – shelter for 60,000 people – disappeared in flames within hours.
Yesterday – once again. Crackling and smoke. In the end, the flames consumed 2,000 temporary homes. The area resembles a moonscape. In the scorched earth, residents are finding the ruins of their shacks. They try to find anything that might have survived. Hope that they will make it is the only thing they have.
The Rohingya people have lived for years with unhealed wounds inflicted on their bodies and psyches. For years they have been unable to heal through tragedy after tragedy and harsh, inhospitable daily life.
The Good Factory is with the neediest families. We want them to experience good at last, instead of cruel evil. A hand extended towards them, with a supply of water, a meal, a sleeping mat, a cure for pain, means even more today. It assures them that the world has not forgotten them. That they also have friends. To become one of these friends, visit GoodWorks 24/7.