Monthly Reflection

Dear Members of the Wake Forest Community,

In an effort to mitigate the suffering of Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar into nearby Bangladesh, I am writing to enlist your help.

Will you join me in asking the government of Myanmar to cease military operations against Rohingya refugees causing them to flee Myanmar into impoverished Bangladesh.  As many of you know, Myanmar military operations increased sharply this summer, causing an estimated 500,000 Rohingya refugees to flee into one of the most remote and poverty-stricken areas in Bangladesh within a period of approximately 30 days, sometimes at a rate of 20,000 people each day, only to hide in forested hillsides.

So, given the sudden and unprecedented scale of this tragedy, I would like to suggest the following in response to questions you might be asking:

1)  How to Donate Funds on Behalf of the Refugees.  Thus far, the most evident assistance “on the ground” to the refugees is being provided by Doctors Without Borders.  Although Doctors Without Borders does not accept “targeted” or “dedicated” contributions that limit the donations to one cause, the plight of the Rohingya is clearly a top priority and the Rohingya leaders recommend donations to Doctors Without Borders at this time.

2)  How to Help Lessen the Ability of the Myanmar Military to Continue its Operations.  The U.S. Congress and the current Administration is considering the termination of military aid to Myanmar as a means to stop the oppression of this minority group.

Time is of the essence given the sudden, unprecedented scale of refugees suffering.  Perhaps if we can help stabilize the current situation, avenues for respectful dialogue with the government of Myanmar may eventually begin and result in the peaceful return of the Rohingya to their original villages with adequate means of livelihood and protection from harm.

Thank you for considering this request.

Chaplain Tim Auman