Rohingya crisis: refugee stories

Brutal military attacks against the Rohingya - a stateless Muslim minority - have escalated in Myanmar since August, and over 600,000 refugees have fled across the border to Bangladesh. Here, we highlight the stories of some of the refugees we met in Bangladesh's sprawling refugee camps.

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Meet Zahida, aged 30.

Zahida fled Myanmar with her husband, her six children and her sister-in-law after her house was burnt down. She arrived in Bangladesh, exhausted and traumatised, carrying nothing but two spoons and two plates.

When the family first arrived at the refugee camp, there was nowhere for them to settle so for the first 10 days they slept on the side of the road. Now, they have a temporary shelter.

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Meet 74-year-old Abuallam. 

Abuallam is married with six children, and in Myanmar he owned a house with a tiled roof. He grew crops and had his own livestock.

But everything changed for him when the army came.

Soldiers forced his neighbours to dig their own graves before they shot them. They murdered his sister-in-law and set her body on fire. Then they came for Abuallam and his family.

As their home went up in flames behind them, the family fled for their lives into the forest, embarking on a traumatic, seven-day journey to safety in Bangladesh.

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Meet 30-year-old Tasmina.

Tasmina fled Myanmar with her husband and seven children (pictured above, with United Purpose staff member Kate Hartley).

Tasmina and her family left with nothing other than the clothes on their backs. Tasmina was able to sell the earrings she was wearing to pay for the family's boat fare to Bangladesh.

 

TAKE ACTION

United Purpose is on the ground in Bangladesh's Rohingya refugee camps, providing  clothing, toilets and washing facilities, and safe spaces for women and children. But as the crisis intensifies, we urgently need your help.

Please stand in solidarity with the Rohingya refugees and donate to our appeal today. Your support will help us save lives and transform the future for people like Zahida, Abuallam and Tasmina.