This summer Cassidy, a Grade 8 student, led with her heart while working with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Prior to her journey Cassidy did extensive research, identifying the problem in the region with guidance from her social studies teacher, Heather Smith.
Myanmar’s Muslim minority, known as the Rohingya, have been attacked with impunity, driven from their homes through violence, murder and rape, and forced to seek refuge. The UN considers the Rohingya people to be the most persecuted people on earth. Starting in August of last year, their plight worsened when Myanmar’s military started systematically killing them and burning down their villages. Since then, over 900,000 refugees have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The UN has described the situation as a textbook case of “ethnic cleansing.”
Cassidy then created a plan of action to address this challenge of her time. Below is her plan, in her words.
I am passionate about ending Human Trafficking in the world and had already arranged to work against trafficking with activists in Dhaka. As the refugee crisis developed and worsened, I knew we had to do something to help in the camps as well. This summer, I will volunteer in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2 shelters that protect trafficking victims, I will put together survivor kits, give hugs, play with the children, and do whatever the organizations need me to do. Then, we are traveling to Cox’s Bazar to provide aid and assistance in the refugee camps.
I am working to bring awareness to this horrific event and the bigger problem of human trafficking and thought others would appreciate the opportunity to support these refugees in a very direct way. 100% of the funds donated would go straight to the refugees. There will be no overhead costs, no middle man, and no organization taking a cut. All funds raised will go directly to the refugees in need. We are providing all of our own travel costs and related expenses.
Determined to help out, Cassidy was able to raise over $12,000 in donations that went toward alleviating the humanitarian crisis.
Below is an excerpt from Cassidy’s blog about her volunteer experience: