Among the many on-going humanitarian crisis in the world today, the persecution of the Rohingyas from Myanmar, also known as Arakanese Indians, is one of the longest standing ethnic issues.
Shuffling across borders, amidst the violence and brutality, the Rohingyas have not only endured forced labor, arbitrary and detention but also been denied citizenship in Myanmar. Many have fled to neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, even more are living in limbo across South-East Asia.
The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar has drawn massive attention in the region. In Indonesia, citizens have been pressuring the Indonesian government to take a stand, to help, to reach out.
In response to this, Bandung city mayor Ridwan Kamil decided to launch a fundraising campaign on the Kitabisa crowdfunding platform. With 7 million Instagram followers, the social media savvy mayor managed to raise IDR 4.3 billion (USD$350,000) from over 19,000 donors in just 7 days.
This marked a record-breaking fundraiser on Kitabisa – it was the first time USD100,000 was raised in a week. The funds were channeled through Kitabisa’s nonprofit partner Aksi Cepat Tanggap.
Aksi Cepat Tanggap (Fast Action Response) is an Indonesian humanitarian organization that started out as an emergency response centre. ACT now works on providing winter aid to war-torn countries, establishing humanity food trucks and relief aid to disaster stricken areas, and most recently reaching out to the Rohingyas refugees with food and humanitarian aid.
For more photos and information on the Rohingya fundraising effort by Mayor Ridwan Kamil, click here.