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Everytime we go to the camps to listen, my heart breaks some more



Every time we go to the camps to listen to stories, my heart breaks some more. By Hannah Aiyana.

This afternoon, Sophie and I met with a woman who had lost all of her children. The army had doused them with kerosene in front of her eyes and burned them alive. My heart wept so much for her. She said she had nothing left to live for.

As we were listening, more and more women poured into the bamboo shack. We sat together, listening to the similar gruelling accounts of the horrors of Myanmar.

Mass graves dug for children.
Dead children being thrown into the sea.
The genocide that started with men, leaving the women and children vulnerable.
Fires engulfing villages.
Beautiful women being taken from their families, gang raped, tortured and killed. Guns, machetes. Hiding in paddy fields for four days pretending to be dead. Eight days of journey across sea, jungle and mountains with no food to find safety.

Losing everyone and everything you love. Your whole life irrevocably changed forever.

We stayed in this hut for the day, listening. The women said that I reminded them of family, and that I was welcome in this way. I was so touched when they said they had never felt good after sharing this story until now. Collectively we had created a safe space to share and begin a process.

Leaving the camps today, my mind was reeling. What more can I do to help? These people have endured a genocide. What can we collectively do?

Aid organisations are busy at work setting up sustainable infrastructure for the Rohingya people. This will take time, but they need immediate help now in the form of clothes and better shelter options (winter is coming), nutrition,and medical supplies. Whatever we have we give. I am so grateful to those of you who have PMd me with your donations, please be in touch if you want to give something, as anything helps. This situation is a crisis.

We took a group shot at the end of our day here before prayer time. It was truly an honour to be with these warrior women who with great willpower and courage made it to the shores of Bangladesh. Perspective shifts. How can we collectively heal and move forwards?


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