Network of Sacred Heart Schools
SHP Student Project Exposes Plight of Rohingya Muslims
Article published in Catholic San Francisco (8.5.19) by Christina Gray
When the time came for Sandy Grees, an incoming junior at Sacred Heart High School (sic) in Atherton, to do her final class project in social ethics class this year, she remembered the 2017 headlines about the humanitarian crisis in Southeast Asia caused by the violent displacement of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country. In her research of the longstanding conflict between the religious and social minority, Grees learned that almost a million Rohingya people are currently “stateless,” living in refugee camps on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh – the fastest–growing and densest refugee settlement in the world according to the United Nations. Whole Rohingya villages were systematically torched in a 2017 government and military “clearance” campaign, with men beaten and killed, women and girls raped and children orphaned. “They have had their civic rights and human dignity stripped from them,” she said in a July letter to Catholic San Francisco weeks after her project was completed. Grees’ school project wove together a history of the conflict, real-life stories of Rohingya refugees, an analysis of social structures that have emboldened the ethnic cleansing campaign, and Catholic theological reflection.