June, 03 2015
What Can I Do to Help the Rohingya Refugees?

What can you do to help the Rohingya situation in Aceh?

by Magdalene
Dear Madge,
The recent news about Rohingya refugees really disturbs me to the deepest core. But I don't think I can do anything significant to help them. I feel that I am even helpless sometimes about problems that happened to myself and or my closest community. So my dear Madge, do you have any idea what I can do to help them?
Mx. LAi - not a girl nor a boy
Dear Mx. LAi,

Your heart is in the right place, and, unlike most of us, you try to seek out for more information. This, to me, is good news, however small, to humanity.
I gather you may be constrained with time, space and money, so it would be unrealistic to fly out to Aceh and do volunteering works. The most practical thing to do is to give some donations to leading NGOs or international aid organizations that are now doing good deeds in Aceh to help out the Rohingyas. UN agencies such as UNHCR, UNFPA and UNICEF are now doing humanitarian works in Aceh. But out of those agencies only UNICEF receives donation from public, so why not donate a little bit of cash to them? You can check out this link. Or do some Googling for other organizations.
There are other groups like the Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center or MDMC that take volunteers in their humanitarian operations, but I would suggest that you do voluntary work like this only if you feel physically and mentally capable of doing it, as the work and living condition can be quite strenuous. You don’t want to burden other humanitarian workers or volunteers.
That said, why feel so helpless about all the problems? There are always things you can do, big or small, to contribute. A friend of mine says, if you can’t contribute in money, offer your physical effort, if you can’t do that either, use your brain or wit to help out. With the Rohingya situation, perhaps you can raise your friends’ awareness about it and urge them to donate as well. Any action creates an impact. The next time you see problems in your own communities, think of how you can help, then maybe you’ll be more prepared to contribute in the bigger way.

*Photo by Jordi Bernabeu Farrus
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