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My name is Abheet Sarker. I attend Williamsport Area High School as a senior. I grew up in Bangladesh (with my grandparents), a very poverty-stricken country but I used to visit my parents in America often before eventually moving to America. Doing so, gave me a taste of two different worlds. I was able to clearly see the difference between the over-privileged America and the underprivileged Bangladesh. I gained an affinity towards the poor. My family had two housemaids who I spent a lot of time with, so much so that I saw them as my older sisters despite our differences in class. I made friends with kids from my grandfather’s former village. They couldn’t afford shoes so when we played soccer, I played barefoot as well.

 

When I went to the Rohingya refugee camps in 2018, I couldn’t just ignore the refugees’ cries for help. Because if I did, I felt as if I would be ignoring the entire half of me that is Bangladeshi: the same half that grew up around the disprivileged! The problem was that I didn’t really know how to help them. After all, I was only 13 at the time. Well, two years after visiting the camps, I discovered GoFundMe.com which is a platform in which people can donate to various causes. I immediately recognized this as an opportunity for me to put myself to use. I created a page on this platform to raise funds but soon came to realize that simple social media promoting will not bring in donations so I planned an event at my local YMCA to teach my community of the atrocities faced by the Rohingya each day. Eventually, I ended up raising over 10,000 US dollars.

 

When winter break rolled around, I went to Bangladesh to distribute the funds to the refugees. I planned a budget with a supervisor in the camps to spend the money on education, clothes, food, and sandbags to prevent landslides (which proves to be a severe issue in the overpopulated camps.)