August 23, 2018 — Just a week or so ago, a group of donors, guests, and Islamic Relief USA staff including President Anwar Khan traveled to Bangladesh. They were joined by Imam Khalid Latif and advocate Dave Coolidge.
The group gained first-hand familiarity with the challenges experienced by Myanmar refugees living in sprawling camps within Bangladesh, in hopes of increasing awareness so as to bring in additional aid and relief to suffering families.
The men, women, and children who now live in such refugee camps in Bangladesh fled Myanmar after experiencing horrific challenges that include murder, systematic rape, and erasure of entire villages. Not all reach the camps.
Fareeha Amir, a video and motion graphics designer within the Communications Department at Islamic Relief USA’s national headquarters, was a member of the IRUSA envoy. While witnessing the experiences of refugees first-hand, Fareeha also played a critical role in the Islamic Relief USA organization by obtaining and compiling important video footage and photo documentation.
The content collected developed and shared by Fareeha will be organized, edited, and will eventually find its way into IRUSA digital and print material, connecting the faces and voices of refugees in Bangladesh with so many others who cannot imagine living through such hardships.
Content just as powerful is being shared in the social media posts shared by Imam Khalid Latif on platforms such as Facebook and by Dave Coolidge on his influential blog.
Coolidge remarked that for the past year, he’s been reading and watching everything he could find about Myanmar refugee camps within Bangladesh, but that “nothing prepared me for how massive they are. They seem to go on forever.”
Driven by his heart, Coolidge uses his experience and knowledge to stress the importance of donating to the countless brothers and sisters in need in Bangladesh, like those he met on the trip.
Imam Khalid Latif has also taken it upon himself to share his very personal and now well-known interest in advocating for refugees from Myanmar with others. How does he do it? By starting with prayer. To date, he has used his personal platform to help raise over $219,000 of new funding for Islamic Relief USA’s projects that help refugees from Myanmar.
The content and advocacy of individuals like Fareeha, David, and Imam Khalid serve as important worldwide links between recipients, staff workers, and donors.After all—a picture is worth a thousand words.
Visual content and words they share enable donors to understand the real experiences of those in need, as well as the powerful impact that their donations can have on the lives of another person.
This invaluable donor-recipient connection is one that President Anwar Khan continually mentions in a variety of contexts; he dubs it the “Cycle of Love.” How does it work? Donors moved by compassion share with recipients, and recipients moved by gratitude then pray for donors. This cycle is a driving philosophy of all work done by Islamic Relief.