Due to frequent unrests occurred in Myanmar during 2012-2013, thousands of Muslim Rohingya migrants boarded small wooden boats from their home in Arakan state, sailing across Indian Ocean for 16-25 days to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Out of hardship and suffering, many of them lost their lives during the arduous journey. About 3.000 of the Rohingya landed in southern Thailand. Being illegal immigrants, they were detained in several detention centers whereby they are allowed not more than 6 month temporarily stay in Thailand. Even though certain social welfare assistances are available, some essential items for daily living are found to be inadequate and badly needed.
The underlying reason for Myanmar to reject the Muslim Rohingya as their citizens was based upon the historic incidence that the Rohingya assist the British to conquer Myanmar as their colony for 62 years during 1886-1948. After Myanmar independence, over 250,000 Rohingya in Arakan were driven out into refugee camps in Bangladesh. According to the United Nations, the Rohingya are one of the most unkindly threatening minorities in the world. They have been described as, “among the world’s least wanted” and “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities”.
To light up their lives in Thai detention centers, the Thai Scouts Promotion Foundation decided to do their duties according to Scout Law No.4 : “A Scout is a friend to all, and brother to every other Scout, no matter to what Country, Class or Creed the other may belong.”
The Thai Scouts Promotion Foundationin close cooperation with other scouts from concerned communities and agencies jointly collected donations of food and supplies to meet the needs of Rohingya illegal migrants in several detention centers all over Thailand . The Thai scouts also managed to prepare a new Thai-Rohingya Dictionary to facilitate two-way communication since most of the migrants could not understand English nor Thai Language while the Thai detention officers could not understand Rohingya language. In addition, Thai Rover Scouts from technical colleges are preparing to help them further in repairing or rebuilding more toilets and other needed shelters to provide more comfort and security for them at the retention centers.