In 2017, the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar (also known as Burma) began to experience some of the worst, most extreme acts of violence and persecution by the Myanmar government. Myanmar, being a predominantly Buddhist country, have a had a history of oppressing the Rohingya, who occupied the Rakhine State, located in the Western part of the country. As the violence escalated in what was being called an “ethnic cleanse,” almost 700,000 Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh, where one of the worlds largest refugee camps is now located.
Quantico actress, Priyanka Chopra, flew to Bangladesh on Monday as part of a UNICEF (United Nation’s Children’s Funds) field visit to visit some of the Rohingya refugee camps set up in the poverty-stricken country. Chopra has been a part of UNICEF for almost ten years. In 2016, she was named as the global Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights. The actress also advocates for women’s rights, health, education and environmental issues. The actress shared a photo on Twitter while en route to Bangladesh, telling her fans to follow her Instagram for updates.
The A Kid Like Jake actress visited the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp where she was greeted by a swarm of children. Out of the nearly 700,000 refugees, 60 percent are children. The Baywatch actress took the time to really interact with the children and to make sure that they are being taken care and if they’d been vaccinated already.
“This is an entire generation of children that have no future in sight. Through their smiles I could see the vacancy in their eyes. These children are at the forefront of this humanitarian crisis and they desperately need our help. The world needs to care. We need to care.”
I’m in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh today for a field visit with UNICEF, to one of the largest refugee camps in the world. In the second half of 2017, the world saw horrific images of ethnic cleansing from the Rakhine State of Myanmar(Burma). This violence drove nearly 700,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh – 60% are children! Many months later they are still highly vulnerable, living in overcrowded camps with no idea when or where they will ever belong…even worse, when they will get their next meal. AND…as they finally start to settle and feel a sense of safety, monsoon season looms…threatening to destroy all that they’ve built so far. This is an entire generation of children that have no future in sight. Through their smiles I could see the vacancy in their eyes. These children are at the forefront of this humanitarian crisis, and they desperately need our help. The world needs to care. We need to care. These kids are our future. Pls Lend your support at www.supportunicef.org #ChildrenUprooted @unicef @unicefbangladesh Credit: @briansokol @hhhtravels
The Bollywood star will continue her tour of refugee camps throughout the country in the coming days, including the Kutupalong camp. She will return to the country’s capital, Dhaka, on Thursday.
When Mansur Ali, 12 yrs old, first came to the Child Friendly Space (CFS) at the Balukhali camp, he was only drawing scenes of bloodshed and violence. Helicopters shooting at him and his friends playing soccer… or his village and home being on fire with burning bodies all around him.. Today, his drawings reflect a more hopeful story, one we would like all these children to have. Since the #Rohingya children have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, they have been living in overcrowded camps with no real place that to call their own. Imagine a space that lets you forget your troubles and be a child again… even if its only for just a few hours a day. For the Rohingya children, over 300,000, in the camps in Bangladesh this is the only space that allows them to be kids. These Child Friendly Spaces created by @unicef give kids access to art, music, dance, sport, and counselling etc. The space has often proved to be very therapeutic, helping these kids deal with the horrific situations they faced.. the @unicef aid workers work tirelessly to make sure these children find their spirit again. It doesn’t matter where a child is from or what his or her circumstances are… NO child deserves a life without hope for the future. The world needs to care. We need to care. Please lend your support at www.supportunicef.org #childrenuprooted @unicef @unicefbangladesh
It’s a bit surreal to see the actress in Bangladesh considering she was just at Windsor Castle in England attending the Royal Wedding between her friend, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Saturday. Chopra was one of the 600 guests invited to the highly anticipated nuptials and then one of 200 guests invited to the evening reception held at Frogmore House.
It’s not the first time that Chopra has taken the time to fly to third world countries to visit refugee camps. She visited Jordan to meet with the Syrian children refugees last year.
It really is a beautiful thing to see someone like Priyanka Chopra be involved in an organization such as UNICEF, given her global celebrity status. She has the ability to help create real change for these thousands of children and right now they need all the help they can get.
To find out more information about UNICEF and their global efforts and how you can help, please click here.