Muhammad Noor is a leading Rohingya Visionary and Activist Founder of Rohingya Project, Rohingya Vision, Rohingya Unicode and Rohingya Football Club

Reuters – A Rohingya New Year resolution

A Thriving Virtual Community that can Encourage Collaboration and Entrepreneurship

A New Year has just dawned. Many will look at this coming annum with a sense of expectation and optimism. Each year is seen as an advance towards goals yet to be fulfilled. A measure of how far we have progressed and what new horizons are left to conquer.

Yet, as one of the Rohingya, I can say that each passing year seems to be a step back in time for us. In the course of the past 35 years, we have gone from a people with a sense of belonging and security in our homeland, to a people who are now called ‘the world’s most persecuted minority’. Whereas once we were a thriving culture, now we have been effectively disowned by our own state and scattered to the four corners of the Earth. The passage of each year is now a reminder of how our collective dignity is becoming a distant memory.

Our project looks to grant each Rohingya a personalized digital ID with their individual data that can verified and recognized, allowing them access to basic services such as travel and healthcare that are open to everyone else. More importantly, their ID will grant them access to a range of financial options, with different online applications such as micro-financing, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and more. The ultimate goal of the Rohingya Project is to use the ID as a key to empower the Rohingya wherever they may be in the world, and over time allow for the creation of a thriving virtual community that can encourage collaboration and entrepreneurship. To build an economic base over time from which the Rohingya can slowly but surely enfranchise themselves.

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