There is an unfolding humanitarian crisis in Myanmar (Burma) caused by persecution of the minority Rohingya Muslim community.
The world is starting to awaken to their plight but in an increasingly xenophobic world few countries are willing to open their borders and accommodate refugees.
However as this UNHCR report explains one country that gave an early welcome to some of those cruelly displaced from their homes is Ireland and it seems there has been an unlikely sporting spin off – cricket!
Ireland already pulls well above its weight internationally in aid and support efforts.
Its troops serve, and some sadly have died, on UN Peacekeeping missions globally. It recently increased its presence in Lebanon as we reported.
Its naval service has been employed now for two years assisting migrants in difficulty in the Mediterranean – men women children – even new born babies – have been saved by their efforts which continue.
Additionally many hundreds of Irish civilians work on aid and relief efforts globally.
As the UN report shows people who come as refugees fleeing conflict want to contribute and integrate. As 15 year old Robi Alam, who had to flee his homeland and then was resettled from a refugee camp in Bangladesh to Carlow in Ireland, where he now plays for the cricket team, says:
“I hope to one day play in the Ireland national cricket team,” says Alam. “That way I will be able to show that you can go from a squalid camp to the highest national podium.”
Image: Wearing the Bangladesh cricket shirt, a young girl runs for the line in the hopes of scoring a point at the Carlow Cricket Club
The Celtic League is an accredited NGO (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and we support the UN effort to improve the lot of displaced people globally
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