Empowering stateless Rohingya through a Blockchain-based digital identity system to access financial opportunities.
PILOT: Since the launch last December, we have achieved a number of milestones and partnerships to lead to the realization of our vision and pilot phase in early 2019. We were recently selected as for the exclusive 'Identity for Good' project accelerator program (https://www.evernym.com/identityforgood/) by the major Blockchain identity provider Sovrin/Evernym. We have also partnered with Pro-Civis, a Swiss e-government service on scoping on applying their eID solution towards the Rohingya. Along with this, the Rohingya Project continues to collaborate with international agencies, such as recently with the UNHCR by conducting a financial survey of stateless Rohingya based in Malaysia.
Over 30 years Rohingya have lived in a limbo of statelessness. Driven out of their ancestral land, living largely undocumented in different countries across the world an denied even basic rights that people take for granted, the struggles the Rohingya diaspora face are severe. As a result of their stateless condition, the 3.5 million Rohingya live as an invisible people on the margins, and are vulnerable to destitution, human trafficking, and other maladies.
Over time, the Project will strive to be a space where the stateless Rohingya can organize themselves and support their own on-the-ground and virtual initiatives to further their community's interests. The eventual impact can reach hundreds of thousands of Rohingya potentially from the 3-4 million stateless Rohingya diaspora. While the world may know the Rohingya now as only victims, the Rohingya Project's mission is to bring their dignity back.
The Rohingya Project is targeting a central issue the Rohingya diaspora face as a result of statelessness: financial exclusion. Many second and third generation stateless Rohingya live on the margins in their host societies and encounter significant obstacles in generating a livelihood and keeping themselves out of poverty. The goal of the Project is to connect these Rohingya to opportunities to learn, equip and empower themselves and the wider Rohingya diaspora through technology and empowerment.
Blockchain is decentralised, peer-2-peer, cryptographically secure, and not controlled by any government or banks - which means no single party can compromise a person’s identity. This fits the use case of the Rohingya who themselves are scattered globally in several countries and previous victims of centralized controlled erasure of their identities. Using their own unique blockchain-based digital identities and crowdfunded resources, Rohingya diaspora communities will have the foundation to empowering themselves economically and socially.
Full-time: Founder Muhammad Noor Project Director Saqib Sheikh Full bios and list of team members can be found at http://rohingyaproject.com/team
The Rohingya Project has engaged in an applied research partnership with the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, USA to produce a feasibility study exploring the implications for our project within the international legal and financial framework published in August. The study forms the roadmap for our project moving forward. Currently, our project is moving towards its pilot stage in adapting the Blockchain digital ID with tested financial solutions. We have been largely self-funded until this point and are still sourcing for funding for the scale up of this process.