Humans of New York Raises $2 Million for Rohingya Refugees
"My baby burned in the house. I’d have brought him with me but I thought we were coming right back."
Beginning in the summer of 2017, more than half a million Rohingya refugees have fled ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, finding safety across the border in Bangladesh.
It was one of the most sudden explosions of refugees in recorded history, quickly overwhelming Bangladeshi border communities.
As the humanitarian community scrambled to provide aid to those displaced, wounded, and traumatized, the granular details of the tragedy came into focus. After Rohingya extremists attacked soldiers, the Burmese military retaliated by burning villages and killing and raping Rohingya people, leading to the mass exodus of Rohingya from their home in Myanmar's Rakhine state.
Each person seems to carry a harrowing story of a near-death escape, and Humans of New York photographer and storyteller Brandon Stanton traveled to the refugee camps in city of Cox's Bazaar to learn some of these stories.
In typical HONY fashion, the profiles and interviews are disarmingly candid. They tell the stories of ordinary people trying to get by after being battered by unimaginable violence, almost hallucinatory in its cruelty.
Most of the people seem to still be in shock from what they experienced, but many also express a cautious optimism for peace.
The project was meant to raise money to build shelters in the camps and, as of today, more than $2 million has been raised through more than 38,000 people.
Here are some of the stories.