I have been hearing some really bad news the last few days.
The Rohingya people that I have been writing so much about, whom I have visited on two occasions this year, and whose lives and stories have grabbed my heart are now faced with another enemy: A cyclone.
Left to themselves on the beaches of Western Burma their conditions are already horrific. I have told you, in earlier blogs, about their lack of food, their lack of shelter, their lack of medicine, their lack of security, their lack of schools for their children—their lack of hope. Before getting to this sub-human way of living, they have also endured hell on earth. Violence, torture, death are words that describe each one of their stories. Their government refuse to help them, and even refuse to grant them the right to be alive in their land. So what could be worse?
That a cyclone hits the shores of the beaches where they are living in dilapidated shelters. And this is what is about to happen in a couple of days’ time. (You can read about it here.)
My husband is there right now and he says he is overwhelmed with the needs of the almost 200,000 people all around him. He is at a loss for words when he describes the attitude of local and central governments and their unwillingness to help the refugees (IDPs) evacuate to a safer place, and much less to give them food so they don’t starve in the meantime. He is also in shock over apparent lies told by some organizations who are taking the side of the government and claiming that the needs are not as bad as they actually are.
I am at a loss too. What to do when I am sitting at home in Norway, knowing that the people I recently spoke to, ate with, listened to, played with, held, hugged, took pictures of and fell in love with are in a few days time going to face a force much bigger than they have faced before.
Please join me and pray. Please join me as I am contacting the politicians and leaders I know to tell them what is happening. Please join me as I contact journalists and ask them to write the story for the world to see and hear. Please join me as I ask myself how much I can give in the relief effort that Partners is staging, and send the money here
I am going to bed with a heavy heart.