While the world comes to terms with important events – Brexit and Trump among them - that would shape a lot of our future, there are many other events that probably do not get the attention they deserve. Sometimes the world doesn’t pay proper attention to many important issues that may well define the course of a particular country even though immediate action is warranted.
The elevation of the Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi into political stardom and the backing of many countries of her was supposed to herald a new era in the heavily military-controlled country of Myanmar. She definitely deserved all the credit for standing up for democracy and doing a ‘Mandela’ in Myanmar. While her rise has been noted across the world for good reason, poverty in Myanmar is still largely prevalent and one atrocity in Myanmar in particular is sadly under reported.
In Myanmar, the dispute between traditional Burmese people and Rohingya muslims has been going on for decades now. Many Rohingya muslims have tried to migrate to nearby Bangladesh who refuse to accept them legally.
In 2012, Myanmar had bloody riots in Rakhine state between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. What started as riots became an ethnic cleansing program of unimaginable cruelty where minority Rohingya muslims were openly persecuted and denied even basic education opportunities at the local university.
The United Nations compiled a horrific report which detailed the devastating cruelty against Rohingya children, women and men as they fled Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh. Do read the report here to get a full idea of the ghastly violence these people were subjected to.
According to Voice of America (VOA), future for the Rohingya children of Myanmar looks bleak. They will receive, at most, a high school education. Under the current system, a child would be lucky to complete the fourth grade. The vast majority – 60 percent – have never been to school and an estimated 80% of Rohingya are illiterate.
There are less number of schools and the availability of books is very limited. While we sit around and discuss about our dreams and notions of changing the world, there are kids around the world who lack even basic knowledge or have no access to the very basic infrastructure to help them gain education. The children suffer the most when such ghastly incidents occur in any part of the world. Such sights sadden us all but they also provide the necessary motivation to help change the world in whatever way we can.
We can only pray for the well-being of the children and try to provide them basic education facilities to keep their bright minds occupied for a brief amount of time instead of ponder over the atrocities they encounter each day. The joy of learning is unparalleled and we can only hope to bring a change in people’s life by enriching their lives with at least basic resources.
In addition to our prayers, we have chosen Myanmar to be one of our target areas where our partner ACTION AID MYANMAR could really help the children in their quest to seek education.