In response to the ongoing Rohingya persecution in Myanmar, MGCI has started a Save the Rohingya (STR) campaign to help the relief effort. Initiated by Ali Khan, Vice-President of SAC, the STR campaign aims to raise five hundred dollars, which will be donated to the Islamic Relief Foundation.

Participants attempting the basketball challenge. Photo: Matthew Tse

Garneau students were given the chance to participate in a basketball challenge on 15 September in the gym at lunch as part of the STR campaign. The challenge required students to make three consecutive shots; a layup, a free throw, and a three pointer in fifteen seconds. Each attempt cost fifty cents and those who succeeded would win a pair of tickets to a Blue Jays game. 

Approximately thirty players took part with over fifty spectators cheering them on in the bleachers. Three students managed to beat the challenge: Hasan, Grade 11; Parth Dhirar, Grade 12; and Ismail Omar, Grade 12. “I came to see if I could win Blue Jays tickets,” Hasan commented. “It was pretty competitive, and I feel lucky that I won.” Of the eight tickets, which were donated by a student, six were given to the winners. The remaining two were given as a prize in a draw for people who donated to the STR campaign.

With regards to why he started the campaign, Ali said,“Seeing the genocide in Myanmar, if you look at the reason behind it, there is no reason other than religious hate. This kind of thing shouldn’t be an issue today. You would think that humanity would have learned from the past, that we would have changed. But innocent people are still being killed.” He is satisfied with the success of the event. STR has already raised about two hundred dollars through donations, with approximately fifty dollars from the basketball challenge.

The Rohingya are a stateless people residing in the Rakhine state in Myanmar. They are a predominantly Muslim population who have historically been denied citizenship, education, and civil service jobs. The Myanmar Army and police have been accused of wide-scale human rights abuse, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee to neighboring countries. However, media and human rights groups are forbidden to enter the area, so exact casualty figures are unknown. Read more here.

SAC will continue accepting donations throughout next week. Donate today!