Rohingya crisis: updates from the front lines

By May 26, 2015
(Photo courtesy Partners)

(Stock Photo courtesy Partners)

Indonesia (PRD/MNN) — [EDITOR’S NOTE: Stories are starting to emerge from Rohingya refugees trafficked in Southeast Asia. A Partners Relief and Development team is on-the-ground in Indonesia, sharing with the Rohingya people that they are loved and not forgotten. What follows is a first-hand story shared with Partners by Rohingya refugees.]

A Rohingya mother of five–who just came off one of the ships stranded in the Andaman Sea near Myanmar or Thailand–told Partners and Fortify staff how her family was treated by human traffickers on the large boat that was supposed to be their transportation to freedom.

“Sometimes the crew would beat the children,” she said. “My children were beaten. Whenever the children cry, they would be beaten. At lunch time, when the children start to get hungry, they’ll cry; at this time the crew would beat them.”

Her 10-year-old daughter added: “They beat me with the wire. They take the wire and beat us with the wire.

“It would hurt for three or four days after they beat me. They’d give me some medicine, [and] then I started to feel better.”

Partners Relief and Development co-founder Steve Gumaer and a team from Partners are giving aid to some of the thousands of boat refugees who have made it to shore in Indonesia. Refugees are sick, weak, and destitute. The horrors of what they have experienced cannot be expressed in words.

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(Photo courtesy Partners)

Many of you have followed the news about what has been happening to the Rohingya. You have prayed and given money to help. Know that we appreciate it and we need it! Thank you.

Communications with our team has been very difficult since they are in an area with very limited internet and phone access. When we know more, we will send updates.

In the meantime, please continue to pray for our work in this unprecedented time of need. Feel free to contact me and ask any questions you may have. I (Oddny Gumaer) will do my best to respond.

Find contact information here.

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