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Starting in 2007, I have had the privilege of providing medical relief to hundreds of ethnic minority Burmese (from the country now known as Myanmar). I have worked with, trained and ministered to refugees, soldiers, medics and relief teams during that time.

Right from the start, I regularly posed the question, “How can I continue to help once I am back home in the United States?” Early on, I expected to hear things like, “You can send money, supplies, medicine, aid” but, instead, I almost universally was given a different response. Whether it was from refugees forced by violence to flee their villages, from Resistance Army soldiers fighting the Burmese Army, women tending the many orphans left in the wake of that brutality, medics and relief workers devoting their lives to this cause, what I was told was this: “Please tell our story. Tell the world what is happening to us”.

Myanmar is governed by one of the world’s most brutal and oppressive regimes, yet due to complex regional and global politics, this ongoing campaign of genocide has gone mostly unheeded by the rest of the world. And while we are turning a blind eye, several million people have been forced to flee their homes, hide in nearby jungles or attempt to escape into neighboring countries. Rape, torture, dismemberment, slavery and murder are common practices of this ruling junta’s army. I have seen first hand the faces of these people, listened to their stories, witnessed the impact of such widespread brutality.

So while most of the world is looking away, I would like to be one small voice heeding the plea I’ve heard so often, asking you to please take a moment out of your day to hear their story, watch these videos and, one person at a time, we can help those without a voice to speak out and be heard.  Thank you.

 


Standing for Freedom – Free Burma Rangers