In an effort to alleviate the suffering of her persecuted minority in Myanmar, a Rohingya refugee in Canada is championing a fundraising campaign to help Rohingya Muslims in the Buddhist-majority country.
Based in Vancouver, Yasmine Ullah is part of a Rohingya women-led initiative, spearheaded by her mother, aimed at crowdfunding to help Rohingya Muslims still living in Myanmar.
She is giving public speeches at local mosques and mainstream media about the plight of the Rohingya, including the dire situation faced by her own family members currently in Myanmar.
“I feel that this is an obligation as a Rohingya living in such comfort, to not only let the world know what is really going on in Burma (Myanmar), but to create a way for people to help as well. It is the least I could do for my people,” she told Muslim Link.
When she was still 3-years old, Yasmine had fled Myanmar to Thailand along with her parents to flee persecution back home. Her extended family, however, decided to stay.
“It has been a source of anxiety for us every time we see some new footage or news about the situation coming out. We just keep praying that we won’t just wake up one day and see their pictures online in a dire situation or find out that they have passed away,” Yasmine said.
In Thailand, her refugee family struggled for 16 years to lead a good life. “AlhamduliAllah, my father met a couple of very kind Canadian NGO who were the force behind getting us to Canada, and getting us the help that we needed within the country until we were able to get back on our feet.”
Yasmine sees her crowdfunding campaign as an obligation to provide a helping hand to fellow Rohingya in Myanmar.
“They live in fear, and we do too, we live in fear of losing them amid this senseless violence, and criminal attempt to murder the Rohingya by the Burmese regime,” she said.
“It left us with this sense of wanting to protect our loved ones so badly, but all we could do is to yell at the top of our lungs hoping it would be loud enough for those in authority to hear. It’s a horrific plight that can only end with an international intervention.”
Yasmine hopes that her effort will help end violations committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
“It’s very Canadian-like to be concerned about other human beings. I hope that all of us see this as an opportunity to raise our voices, and let our elected officials know that we do not want to partake in their silence. Being silent is being complicit,” she said.
“To end this full scale genocide, we need more involvement, and awareness from everyone, so our government, and others would act, and intervene to end this plight of the most persecuted people in the world, for them to be able to return home, and enjoy full rights as Burmese citizens.”
To donate to Yasmine’s LaunchGood initiative click here
To read the full interview with Yasmine click here