French Snapchat star Jérôme Jarre has teamed up a group of musicians, comedians, and internet celebrities for a campaign called Love Army for Rohingya. The initiative has raised over US$680,000 from more than 18,500 donors since launching less than 24 hours ago.
Bangladesh is home to about a million Rohingya refugees, including more than 620,000 who have been displaced in the past three months by the Myanmar military.
“The government of Bangladesh is overwhelmed by the refugee crisis,” reads the Love Army for Rohingya GoFundMe page. “The refugees arrive having eaten little, if anything, in days, and with just the clothes on their backs. Children are especially vulnerable to human trafficking, servitude, and abuse, as many have become separated from their families. Once they arrive in the tent cities (without any sanitation), the daily struggle continues to access clean water and food.”
— DJ SNAKE (@djsnake) November 28, 2017
Jarre and his crew, which includes musician DJ Snake and actor Omar Sy, are now in Bangladesh, where they will distribute donations directly to Rohingya refugees with the help of local volunteers. The funds will be used to provide “food, clean drinking water, and other critical supplies.”
The group has explained (in a Twitter conversation with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) that the funds with not be channeled through any organizations because they want to avoid overhead costs and ensure that 100 percent of the donations go directly to refugees.
The group has been reaching out directly via Twitter to ask companies and wealthy individuals to support the Love Army campaign, but most of the funds have come in the form of small donations from people around the world. The average donation has been around US$37.
Jarre has previously organized Love Army fundraising campaigns for crises in other parts of the world, most recently in Somalia, where he raised US$3 million in three days.