Humans of New York photographer and humanitarian Brandon Stanton has raised more than $1 million to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in less than a week.
On Sunday, the Humans of New York Facebook page began sharing photos and stories of refugees who were pushed out of their homes in Myanmar by Buddhist extremists.
Nearly 700,000 men, women and children who have “experienced and witnessed many atrocities” fled to refugee camps in nearby Bangladesh to escape the violence in recent months, according to Stanton’s GoFundMe page.
“Most of these refugees have settled in two sprawling camps just over the border: Kutupalong and Balukhali,” Stanton wrote on the GoFundMe page. “While aid agencies such as the [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] are doing their best to cope with the humanitarian crisis, most refugees are provided with only the basics they need to survive.
As monsoon season approaches, Stanton set out to raise $1 million to help build bamboo shelters for the refugees, who are mostly living in plastic tents.
“When the monsoons arrive, these tents will provide almost no protection from the elements,” Stanton wrote.
Within the last five days, the GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $1,127,900, surpassing Stanton’s $1 million goal. Donations have poured in from 110 countries and territories, according to GoFundMe.
The money will be put toward building 1,500 homes with the help of Love Army, an organization that has separately raised more than $2 million for Rohingya refugees.
“Love Army has partnered with the American Refugee Committee and local NGOs such as OBAT Helpers to make sure that every dollar is spent in the most effective way,” Stanton wrote. “The houses are being built by refugees themselves, so even the labor costs are funneled back into the community.”