Charity dinners help raise almost £40,000 for persecuted Rohingya people

Big-hearted businesses and residents have helped raise nearly £40,000 to aid violence-stricken Rohingya people.

Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 2:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 3:33 pm
Chesterfields mayor Maureen Davenport, left, and mayoress Liz Archer join managers Mohammed Ali and Mujahid Hussain at their Chutney Spice restaurant. Picture by Anne Shelley.

More than 70 restaurants and takeaways in north east Derbyshire and south Yorkshire recently came together to hold charity dinners to raise money for Rohingya refugees.

As well as the dinners, there was a charity car wash, collections at mosques and donations from businesses and members of the public – altogether raising a phenomenal £37,070.

The fundraising was organised by South Yorkshire Catering Association (SYCA) along with Staniforth Neighbourhood Centre (SNC).

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Mohammed Ali, manager of Brimington restaurant Chutney Spice which was one of the many local eateries to take part - said: "These destitute Rohingya people have fled to Bangladesh to escape the persecution and ethnic cleansing that forced them out of their homes in Myanmar.

"A delegation of six volunteers from the group has flown to Bangladesh on November 19.

"They are travelling on their own expense, so all of the money raised will go directly to providing aid for the Rohingya people.

"They are at refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar where they have been distributing blankets, clothing, medicine and milk for the Rohingya who are in desperate need of aid.

"SYCA and SNC would like to thank all the businesses which were involved in collectively coming together in an effort to raise these funds as well as the customers who came to the charity dinners and also all the businesses and public who donated generously to help make this such a great success.

"Everyone has shown a great spirit of cooperation and understanding that we can all be proud of.

"We can go forward knowing that we can come together and work collectively to help in a crisis in any future event."

More than half a million Rohingya people have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since Rohingya militants launched deadly attacks on police posts at the end of August, prompting a military crackdown.

The mainly Muslim minority are widely disliked in Buddhist-majority Myanmar - formerly known as Burma - and are denied citizenship.

Those who have fled accuse the military, backed by Buddhist mobs, of using a brutal campaign of killings and village burnings to try to drive them out.

The military has been widely accused of conducting ethnic cleansing and genocide, but it has rejected all these allegations, saying it has only targeted Rohingya militants.