It is one of the most densely populated and at the same time the poorest countries in the world. There are more than one thousand inhabitants here per one square kilometer. The country’s population is almost 150 million. In the neighboring Myanmar, since mid-2017, thousands of the Rohingya people have lost their lives, their villages have been burned down, and the survivors approached the border with Bangladesh. Within several months, more than 750 refugees settled in the border area.
- The UN has been calling persecution of the Rohingya an ethnic cleansing
- The Rohingya are the most persecuted ethnic group today
- the world’s largest refugee camp, home to approximately 920,000 Rohingya, is located near the city of Cox’s Bazar
- 55% of the camp residents are children
On March 22 around 3:30 pm local time, a fire broke out in the center of Camp 9, the part of the camp where our project has been running for 2 years.
After several hours the fire was finally extinguished and the dust settled. It’s now time to estimate the losses, which unfortunately are overwhelming. Camp 9, which served as a shelter for 40,000 refugees, practically ceased to exist. As a result of the fire, which also involved neighboring camps, over 9,000 houses burned down, leaving over 45,000 people without shelter. What’s even worse, 15 people died and 563 were injured. The search for another 429 is ongoing.
The daycare center where we provided aid, education and food to dozens of children every day, was completely wiped out. Fortunately, we evacuated everyone in time.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and act fast! We must help the people who’ve lost the very little they had. We are rebuilding the facility because we know how important it was for children at the camp. We are also hoping to help neighboring organizations restore their facilities.
It will cost us about 40,000 USD, or 155,000 PLN, to rebuild and equip the center. For every additional 350 USD we receive we will also construct one hut, which will house two families. This may seem like a lot but you cannot put a price tag on the wellbeing and safety of the several dozen kids who spent every day at the center. We taught, fed, entertained and comforted them. Their time at the center provided much needed respite from the stressful camp environment. Today, they were faced with the sight of ruins at our (their!) center. We are now doing everything we can to rebuild this space and put smiles back on their faces.
Will you help us?