Making it easy to volunteer
Dr. Alvi reports that many of her colleagues back home in Canada were also interested in becoming involved. “I’ve heard from many physicians who are willing to donate their time, but who can’t be away from their practices for extended periods. So I decided to create an organization that mirrors the work of Doctors Without Borders, but on a smaller scale, that requires a shorter time commitment.” Her organization, Humanity Auxilium, focuses on medical, educational and relief efforts.
“Where is the outrage?” The plight of Rohingya refugees
In addition to Iman Hospital, Humanity Auxilium has been instrumental in providing aid and drawing attention to the heart-wrenching plight of the Rohingya refugees, forced to flee Myanmar to settle in refugee camps in Bangladesh. It’s a humanitarian crisis that has galvanized Dr. Alvi. “I first began providing medical relief to the Rohingya refugees in the fall of 2017,” she recalls. “I was horrified by what I saw. There were so many unaccompanied children and people that were completely traumatized. There was a hopelessness there that I had never seen before.”
Dr. Alvi worked in the camps for weeks, helping malnourished refugees dealing with the horrific aftermath of rape, torture and beatings, and living in squalor with contagious diseases, including tuberculosis. “This is genocide; there’s no other way to describe it,” she states.
In an impassioned and eye-opening interview (Rohingya Crisis: Where is the outrage?) with Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, Dr. Alvi provides a touchingly personal overview of the horrific Rohingya refugee crisis. And with this widely-shared Facebook video, she reiterates her plea to Canadians to “do something about it!”