The Story of Rakhine Refugees

The Story of Rakhine Refugees

It was 09:10 on Saturday (10/12) when we arrived at the Dar Paing refugee camp, City of Sittwe, Rakhine, Myanmar. Still in the morning, but the sun radiant just like at 12:00 pm in Jakarta. A scorching dazzle.

A moment hop-off the car, the eyes of refugees at Dar Paing camps drawn to us. They steered us without expression. They looked as if wondering, “Who are the foreigners who come to this.” We then slowly approached them, to communicate.

“We are from Indonesia. We come to deliver assistance of the Indonesian people to you who are here, “said Fadilah Rahman, Humanitarian Team Coordinator.

Listening to Mr. Rahman translated by Aung Soe Moe, local staff of the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon who accompanied us, their expression suddenly changed. The smile etched on their face. Highlights the cheerful sparkling eyes. Most of them encourage other refugees to come closer. We were instantly drawn into a crowd of refugees, especially children. Their happiness was visible.

We then ask them what they need. Apparently, staple foods becoming a vital need today-perhaps even beyond. It becomes the priority needs help that we distribute.

“We’ve been living here from 2012. We fled from our village to this camp, “said Tei Mo, one of the refugees in Dar Paing camp.

Since the humanitarian turbulent in Myanmar, life becomes difficult. They live completely within limits. Throughout our monitoring, the alarming condition of the refugees raises obviously. They are isolated and can not do anything. Their lives relying on aid from humanitarian agencies.

“Now there is aid from Indonesian people; we thank you very much. We are very delighted. Assistance provided much needed by us. Hopefully not up here. Another time come again to you for help,” please Tei Mo.

A big thank you and hope from Tei Mo is simple at a glance. However, when carefully considered, the message he conveyed is very substantial. He advised a matter of humanity. Teasing empathy and concern us. Facial lines and gaze from Tei Mo as saying, “You can see by yourself, right? We are so difficult here.”

Tei Mo is one of around 1,500 displaced people in Dar Paing camp, Sittwe. They come from areas far from Sittwe, but still in the State of Rakhine, Myanmar. According to information from Aung Soe Moe, a total of 14 refugee camps is located in Sittwe Myanmar.

*A journal of Yogi Achmad Fajar, Dompet Dhuafa Humanitarian Team for Myanmar.