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Ogilvy sends TV into space to highlight plight of Rohingya children forced to flee their homes

Ogilvy and non-government organisation BRAC have given a voice to Rohingya children forced to flee their homes in Myanmar in a campaign designed to raise awareness of their plight.

Ogilvy’s Singapore-based ASEAN chief creative officer Ajab Samrai spent two weeks in the Rohingya refugee city near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border filming their shocking stories.

The campaign, which hopes to drive donations through the BRAC website, includes a three-minute film, #SpaceonEarth, highlighting the horrors witnessed by children. They recount their stories on a TV floating into space.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya people have fled their homes in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar for neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017, many of them children.

“Over 30 years in the industry, I’ve learnt and acquired powerful creative tools to sell products and services and I’ve always felt these tools can be utilized as a force for good,” Samrai said. “I have two young children and as the Rohingya crisis unfolded I was compelled to do something about it – so much so, I went to the camps and lived with the Rohingya for two weeks.

Ajab Samrai spent two weeks in the refugee camp

“I wanted to give the most unempowered people on the planet a voice. Nobody was listening to their plight on earth, so I gave them a voice in space.”

BRAC estimates that US$56m is needed for its humanitarian efforts, US$30m of which is still required.

BRAC Institute of Educational Development director Erum Mariam said: “We have witnessed women and children bearing the brunt of the crisis. I have seen children shouldering adult responsibilities to help their families. However they are still amazingly resilient and take up every opportunity to play, learn and just be children.

“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, and we need partners to help us for the long haul. We thank Texel Foundation and Ogilvy for coming forward to help carry our message to the world.”

The campaign, which marks a year since the exodus began, is being supported by the Texel Foundation.

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