Speaker tells of refugees’ plight

VITAL OPERATION: Making up food packs for refugees.
VITAL OPERATION: Making up food packs for refugees.

The Rotary Club of Mirfield recently hosted an extremely informative speaker.

He was Salah Uddin – a 22-year-old refugee born in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh.

MEETING: Salah Uddin discusses how best to distribute aid.

MEETING: Salah Uddin discusses how best to distribute aid.

He was born in the camp after his family fled from Myanmar and came as a UN refugee to Britain when he was 15.

He is treasurer of the British Rohingya community who raised £32,000 in Bradford to take aid back to the camp.

When he left seven years ago the camp had 32,000 people but this is now at 700,000 following the flight of the Rohingyan people from Myanmar in 2017.

He spoke in detail about the awful conditions in the camp. The hunger, illness and the suffering of the refugees.

Ten people travelled to the camp from Bradford to distribute aid. They distributed 6,000 food packs of rice, potatoes, onions, dahl and cooking oil.

They tried to find the most vulnerable refugees and issued them with vouchers to collect the food packs each day.

They also brought in doctors to treat people and supplied medications for them.

Salah still has brothers in the camp, so he stayed with them and their families.

He also visited his father’s grave who died in the camp shortly after he was born and discovered two of his mother’s sisters who had been missing for several weeks.

He found a traumatised 10 year old boy, called Shohid, who had seen his parents brutally murdered and found members of his family to care for him.

He said they had distributed £32,000 of food and medical, aid, supported the refugees and raised awareness of the plight of the Rohingyan people.

He finished by speaking about his life in the UK, taking up the plight of the refugees at the United Nations, and thanking the British Government for providing significant aid to Bangladesh.