I want to share my happiness. Today is such a great day for me, as I just got a call from Bangladesh. Today I got news from Yunus, that one boy that I was struggling so hard this past year to get to university in Bangladesh. That one boy, Yunus, got his UNCHR (United Nations Commission on Human Rights) card today.
Today, he called me and told me in his broken English,
“Mom, I got my card. Can you take me to Canada now?”.
Yunus Abdullah has a powerful personal story.
He got top marks in high school but couldn’t get to medical school. He is a Rohingya refugee living in Myanmar. Rohingya refugees aren’t allowed to get an education in Bangladesh. They’re not allowed to get a UNHCR card either.
At the time of the massive crackdown in 2017, the Burmese army built a bridge to his village. His villagers broke that bridge so that the soldiers couldn’t enter their village. The army took another route, a longer route. The soldiers killed all the men, threw their dead bodies in the river and made a bridge out of those dead bodies and drove their trucks on them. Yunus was crying when he told me this story. He told me that there were hundreds of bodies. The army drove over their men, took their cattle, raped their women, burned their village…
Then, he told me a long story how he got to Bangladesh…
The Myanmar Military blocked the easy routes. The elderly, the young, the pregnant women… they couldn’t manage the terrain. When they got close to the border, they had to climb a hill. Many couldn’t. Yunus was very thirsty, weak and tired. He saw running water at the bottom of the hill. Exhausted, he knew he had to get down that hill. He rolled himself down the rocks. He had no energy to get down any other way. He would die if he couldn’t get down that hill. He slipped a disc this way. He was in a lot of pain and used to cry all the time with no pain meds.
When I met him, Yunus said to me that if he gets an education, he will dedicate his life for the poor. I truly believe that he will be a great humanitarian, but more importantly, I want him to fight for justice for his community. Rohingya don’t have any educated people. The Burmese killed the educated people first to deprive Rohingya their leadership.
When I met him last year, I was horrified to hear this story. I had no words to tell him. I put my hands on his shoulder and called him my son. I told him that I will do whatever I can to get him a good education. I struggled so hard this past year to get him to a university in Bangladesh but couldn’t succeed.
I asked him to apply for UNHCR card so that I can bring him to Canada. Without that, I can’t do this.
Today, he called me and told me in his broken English, ‘Mom, I got my card. Can you take me to Canada now?”
I’m crying with happiness. I’ve cried for this boy so much this past year, thinking that I called him my son. If my real son would be living in slums like that, how could I have lived here in Canada doing my own things?
Today, precious words…, “Mom, I got my card. Can you take me to Canada now.”
Yes! With love in my heart, I can sponsor him to Canada. One day I will be able to welcome him to his new home with open arms. A new future. Another humanitarian is born.