'Humans of New York' Raises $1 Million in 4 Days for Rohingya

To date, the campaign raised enough money to build over 2,000 houses for Rohingya refugees.

Mar 16, 2018
Paid Rohingya volunteers are helping with construction of the houses.

Paid Rohingya volunteers are helping with construction of the houses. (Brandon Stanton/GoFundMe)

In 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton started a Facebook page dedicated to a project of photographing real people on the streets of New York. Today, his project Humans of New York has over 18 million Facebook “likes,” 7.7 million followers on Instagram, and he even published a book of his photos, which spent 31 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List.



Stanton has continuously used his fame to promote social change. In 2014, he traveled on a “World Tour,” visiting 12 countries and spreading the stories of people whose voices would otherwise never have been heard. In 2015, he traveled to Pakistan and used his fame to raise awareness about Pakistani brickworkers who have become bonded laborers and Syeda Ghulam Fatima’s efforts to help them. On a joint project with the UN, Stanton traveled to Europe to photograph migrants seeking asylum from their war-torn homelands.

It is no surprise, then, that Stanton is now involved in yet another human rights project. In March 2018, Stanton followed the path of nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh to photograph their flight from Buddhist extremists. Most of the refugees are located in two camps, Kutupalong and Balukhali. These people have witnessed atrocities beyond imagination, and they are currently surviving on the bare basics.

With monsoon season quickly approaching, Stanton realized these people cannot continue to live in these meager conditions, with nearly all of the refugees living in plastic tents. He decided to start a GoFundMe page to raise money for building homes for the refugees. Well, Stanton made history by raising over $1 million in just 4 days.

The houses will be made of bamboo, have two bedrooms, and a small, basic kitchen. Each house will only cost $630 to build, but will provide people invaluable comfort and protection from the elements. In order to save costs, the houses will be built by the refugees, themselves. This amazing initiative is in collaboration with Love Army, an organization made up of YouTube creators, actors and other celebrities. The initiative was founded by social media celebrity Jerome Jarre to raise money for the Somalian famine, but has since helped many more important causes.

According to GoFundMe, this campaign has been the fastest growing in the organization’s history, and it has continued to rapidly grow. In just 11 days, they raised over $2 million.

If you want to get involved in this important cause, please consider donating today, and sharing the GoFundMe page on your social media account, in order to raise awareness for this humanitarian crisis. Stanton is a shining example of what one kind person can achieve.

Goodnet was initiated by Shari Arison and is operated by The Ted Arison Family Foundation. Shari Arison is also the initiator of Good Deeds Day.

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RISI ADLER FINKEL, CONTRIBUTOR
Risi has a passion for reading, traveling, and food. When she isn't writing about those things, she is experiencing them with her husband and son. One of the reasons she loves to travel is to learn about all the good in the world, and share these stories with others.

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