The Rohingya people – sometimes referred to as Arakanese Indians – originate from what is now western Myanmar. The majority are Muslim but there are some Hindu Rohingya.
Since 25 August 2017, an estimated 720,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh, fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Most are now based in the crowded camps near an area known as Cox’s Bazar. The total Rohingya population in these camps is now more than 919,000 people. Around 55 per cent of the refugee population is under 18 years old, three per cent are elderly and 16 per cent are single mothers.
The influx of refugees has caused a humanitarian crisis that affects around 1.3 million people in Cox’s Bazar, with assistance needed by both refugees and host communities. The Salvation Army's International Emergency Services visited Bangladesh in February 2018 to assess the situation with local Salvation Army leadership and staff.
The Salvation Army in Bangladesh is working with the local government as well as international and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide a co-ordinated and shared response to this humanitarian crisis and avoid duplication of efforts.
As part of a wider response, The Salvation Army will be providing much-needed power and light to residents of the camps.
Solar panels with LED lights and accessories will be provided to 2,800 families in camps, with a focus on the most vulnerable people (such as the elderly, people with disabilities, female-headed households).
The lamps will enable people to perform tasks at night without the need for batteries or dangerous open fires. It is also hoped that this new source of light will reduce crime and increase safety as people use them to navigate treacherous pathways through the camp.
*UPDATE* - October 2018
A BIG thank you to those of you who have supported our 'Bring Light' campaign so far.
More than 1,700 lamps have been distributed to 3,000 Rohingya people living in Cox's Bazar. Recipients of the lamps have shared that it is now much easier to carry out daily tasks such as cooking, eating and praying. They have also expressed that there is increased safety within the camps thanks to the improved lighting which no longer relies on open fires.
There is still time for your corps/community to donate to this campaign and contribute to the cost of the solar panels and lamps. One lamp (including installation and transport) costs the equivalent of £72.
Please download the 'Update' PowerPoint presentation below which includes photos of the installed solar panels and lamps.
Fundraising for this campaign will close on Friday 30 November 2018. Any funds raised above the project cost will be used for UK Salvation Army's refugee response.
Share the Bring Light campaign with your corps or group using the Leaders Notes and PowerPoint presentation. Click on the links below to download:
Call 020 7367 4777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a donation to the Bring Light campaign.