From Delaware to Bangladesh
Arqum Rashid, a 1st year law student at Delaware Law, spent his winter break on a very important humanitarian mission. Born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and raised in Newark, Delaware, Arqum is a graduate of Al-Azhar University in Egypt.
Over the winter break from law school, Arqum and a group of friends headed a campaign called “Stand with Rohingya.” It was a five-week campaign designed to raise awareness and funds to provide humanitarian aid to the Rohingya Refugees that have fled to Bangladesh from the recent persecution and ethnic cleansing in their home country of Myanmar. Refugees told of the 15-day walk to their camps, sleeping during the day and walking under cover of darkness for their safety.
One of the main goals of the campaign was to personally deliver all of the aid to those in need, effectively cutting out any administrative costs that are customarily involved in an average charity. The group even covered their own travel and personal expenses. They travelled to refugee camps in the mountains just inside the border of Bangladesh to deliver the money raised from December 11th through December 20th. Money was donated at numerous collection points in the State of Delaware, in addition to a separate collection point in the UK. Funds totaling $65,500 were delivered directly to the refugees without a single dollar being used toward administration or travel.
Donations were used to purchase blankets and shawls, personal hygiene items, clothing, food, snacks, and medicine for thousands of the more than 400,000 refugees that are settling along the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Funds were also used to provide building materials used in constructing 25 small shelter homes ensuring – literally – a roof over the heads of the refugees. Each structure included one solar panel allowing light into the home. Much needed tools made it possible to break ground for water well production. Hand to hand distribution of monetary contributions to adults as well as children was a special part of the mission. There is no schooling for the children nor jobs for the adults.