A little bit more than a month ago, The french influencer Jérôme Jarre asked for our voices to help the Rohingya who, since late August, have taken refuge in Bangladesh due to the Myanmar genocide. He posted a video, on November 27th, explaining the life conditions of the refugees and asking anyone watching it to share this truth with the world so that big firms could help this population. However, as they did not react to the mobilization online, Jérôme Jarre said:
“If they do not play the game, then it will be up to us to do it”
He, therefore, created a gofundme page with a goal of $2M on November 28th in order to help the Rohingya and make their life a little bit better. 48 hours later, the goal was reached and Jérôme Jarre disappeared from social media a week or so later.
Nevertheless, on January 2nd he started a thread showing all that had been done in the camp during the past month thanks to the money raised.
“AFTER 1 MONTH OF #LOVEARMY, THE FIRST RESULTS OF OUR MISSION”
He then posted a similar version in English:
In a video, we can see a Rohingya talking about the fact that most of the money donated by countries or people all over the world to ONGs isn’t used properly and doesn’t help the refugees: the money doesn’t end up in their hands. Jérôme, however, shows us, with this thread that the $2M went and still goes to, and only to, the needy population. He also explains how the heart of their project is to spend time with the people, learning what they truly need:
“All the decisions are being taken WITH THE PEOPLE”
This is how the money is being used:
- When families arrive at the camp, they are given part of the donations directly so they can buy the most urgent things they need. In the video he posted, Jérôme follows a family as they use the money they just received. We see them buy dishes, food, drugs and shoes for the kids. This might not seem a lot for us but for them, it truly is. In fact, Jérôme says the alimentation is one of the most urgent problems in the camp at the moment.
- He also shows the very first center for kids where 100 children can “play, learn, create and dream every day.” As he explains, more than half of the refugees are children and 40,000 are orphans. He wants this place to be their “bubble of peace” where they can escape the difficulties of the camp. This seems to be working as we can see when he visits the kids during their drawing workshop and laughs with them for a bit. Jérôme says “there is a good energy here”. In another tweet, he reveals a second center is currently being built, it will be under the direction of a former teacher whose dream is to work again.
- The Rohingya also need stoves to cook but, as Jérôme points out, instead of buying them for $6 from a supplier as well as paying a delivery fee, he asked women from the camp to build them. In the end, the $6 go directly into the hands of those women who then offer the stoves to the neediest families.
- Another of the issues pointed out by the refugees is that water wells built by ONGs over the last 3 months are now unfunctional and useless. Part of the money raised went, therefore, toward fixing those wells and teaching some Rohingya to do it themselves. This led, once again, to a beautiful moment of cooperation Jérôme captured in a video.
- The next thing that was established in the camp did not happen thanks to the money raised but is as important as other actions. Jérôme explains in another tweet that trash is one of the main issues in the camp as it can become very unhealthy rapidly. To prevent this from occurring, 11 refugees has been formed to “collect the trash and handle recycling for a small part of the camp”. He also says “if it all works out the project could be scaled up fast” and that is all we hope.
- Last but not least, the money allowed the construction of a hospital were around 100 families can receive medical help every day. Jérôme takes us on a tour to visit the center and shows us the multiple consultation rooms where, mostly children and women who are mothers, find the help needed, as well as the infirmary where all the drugs are distributed FREELY. He also presents us multiple nurses and doctors who come from an association called “Friendship” whose cleanliness and organization are commended by Jérôme.
The French influencer doesn’t forget to thank everyone who made this a reality whether they’re public like the 15 artists with a large platform who flew over to help the Rohingya, anonymous heroes like Saïd, Igor or Moussa who helped him build this project as well but, mostly, the 57’000 donators who raised these $2M in 48 hours.
He ends his thread by saying that even if this population starts 2018 with no country or rights, “this little relief of Love exists now thanks to you” and that this mission is just getting started.
As he states here:
“Unity really is strenght”