Members of the BBC Amnesty Club recently volunteered their time to support Friends with Dignity, a not for profit organisation that supports male and female victims of domestic violence. The High Tea is a major fundraiser for this self-funded organisation and our boys were happy to assist with logistics and fundraising at the event. The Club’s other recent community engagement initiatives included participation in the Palm Sunday rally for refugees and welcoming members of the Rohingya community to share their life stories as refugees with BBC students.
BBC Amnesty Club welcome guest speakers from the Rohingya community
During Semester 1, BBC Amnesty Club welcomed guest speakers from the Rohingya community to give presentations at its meetings. Both speakers had very unique stories to share with our boys.
Javir, a young Rohingya refugee left Myanmar because of persecution, which ultimately resulted in violence and destruction. Javir escaped on a people smuggling boat and on the way to Australia spent time in Indonesia. Whilst there he witnessed two of his friends shot dead as the refugees were fleeing from Indonesian police. He later caught a boat to Christmas island, and after some years in detention was given residency in Australia. Later on, his entire family also attempted to make the same journey by boat to Australia; however, on the trip from Indonesia to Christmas Island the boat sank. Javir’s entire family was lost at sea. Javir loves Australia and the Australian people; however, he was critical of the government and could not understand why it would want to lock up genuine refugees for years at a time.
Yasin, is the spokesman for the Burmese Rohingya Association of Queensland. He fled Myanmar, along with nearly a million other Rohingya to Bangladesh because of continued persecution by Buddhist monks and government police. Subsequent to this, in 2017 many Rohingya villages in the southern Rakhine state were burnt to the ground with scores of people murdered, and many women raped. Yasin ended up in a refugee camp in Bangladesh before being selected to migrate to Australia. He is very appreciative of what the Australian government has done for him.
These presentations had a profound impact on our boys and their ability to consider societal issues from other perspectives.