A Muslim women’s group has raised more than £1,300 from a Falkirk event in aid of Rohingya refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar.
Among those who attended the Muslim Women’s Rainbow Group family fun day in the Dawson Centre were Councillor Pat Reid of Falkirk Council and Gillian Gardner of Falkirk Trinity Church.
It’s estimated more than half a million Rohingya people – many of them women and children – have been forced to seek refuge across the border in neighbouring Bangladesh where they are living in squalid, insanitary conditions.
They are in urgent need of food, shelter, clean drinking water and medical care.
Thousands are still crossing the border every day, and the Bangladeshi government estimate the makeshift camp could have to cope with an influx of up to 800,000 people - making it it the world’s largest refugee camp.
Falkirk MP John McInally said: “I wholeheartedly applaud the Rainbow Muslim Women’s Group for seizing the initiative and organising a special fundraiser in support of the horrifically persecuted minority Rohingya people of Myanmar.
“The event has been successful in generating public awareness of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis here in Central Scotland.
“Once again, Samina Ali and her team of hard working Rainbow Group volunteers have championed a vital charitable cause, ably demonstrating how our local community here in Falkirk can put compassion into action and contribute to an international relief effort at the other side of the world.”
The persecution of Myanmar’s mainly Muslim Rohingya population has met widespread condemnation from Amnesty International and Oxfam GB along with the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and the governments of many countries around the world.
Rainbow Muslim Women’s Group chairwoman Samina Ali said: “I am absolutely delighted with the success of the Rainbow Group’s Family Fun Day event at the Dawson Centre.
“The money raised will be donated to our charity partner, The Islamic Welfare Trust, who are on the ground working directly with the Burmese Rohingya Muslims facing persecution.
“The Rainbow Muslim Women’s Group would like to thank everyone who attended for their support and kind donations and to all the volunteers for their hard work and efforts.
“Our special thanks go to the stall holders at the function: Rajah’s Fashion Edinburgh, the Barakah Designer Collection, Nur-Al-Haya Hijabs and the Rainbow Youth Group and Bainsford Youth Group, who provided creative activities for the children - such as face painting, henna artistry, a chocolate-marshmallow fountain and a bouncy castle.
“We would also like to thank Stewart Ward from Batley’s Stirling Cash and Carry and M9 Cash and Carry for their kind donations of juice, water and sweets to sell at the event; and all the talented Rainbow Group volunteers who provided delicious baking and savoury masala snacks for the stalls.”