The Rohingyas form a distinct ethnic community that is predominantly Muslim and claim indigenous roots in the Rakhine state of Burma, now known as Myanmar. Since the 1970s, this minority group has faced systematic persecution as many of its basic rights have been denied. Rohingya are subjugated to forced labor, have no land rights, and are heavily restricted from political participation. Therefore, socio-economic mobility is very difficult for the Rohingya. In 2012, communal tensions escalated into ethnic violence and many Rohingyas were forced to flee for safer refuge in neighboring countries.
The past few years have seen a deepening – and often ignored – conflict regarding the Rohingya people. However, Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) has made it a priority to not only highlight the voice of these “stateless” people, but to also continue delivering humanitarian assistance to their community. Due to restrictions, it’s nearly impossible to launch operations within Myanmar’s borders. As an alternative, ZF has managed to organize relief programs in countries like India where Rohingya are currently living as refugees. There, ZF has sent food packages containing items like rice, sugar, oil, canned meat, tea, and lentils that can sustain families and individuals for a month.
The delivery of these aid packages can create a sense of hope for the Rohingyas who have been cited as the most persecuted people in the world. Imagine a Rohingya family who has endured great hardship to escape by sea or land, and then for them to come across a humanitarian site where ZF is distributing much needed food supplies. The goal is to foster a sense of safety, stability, and humanity, and to help take care of some of their most basic necessities.
ZF will continue to stand by the side of the oppressed and plan to provide additional humanitarian aid. ZF appreciates the support from our donors towards relief for the Rohingya and assures our advocates that ZF will keep them at the forefront of our campaigns as well as our thoughts and prayers.
What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured. (Bukhari)