KWO Magazine Volume 3 Issue 4

KWO puts out a quarterly magazine (September to December) in Skaw Karen and Burmese which are distributed through out the 7 Karen refugee camps. Each magazine is passed between refugees being read by multiple people. It is just one way we seek to keep our community up to date and informed.


“Never Walk Alone” – Children’s Dormitory Matching Fund Apeal 2015-2016

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Dormitory Students at Work

“Never Walk Alone”

 Children’s Dormitory Matching Fund appeal 2015/16

A Unique Fundraising Opportunity for Karen Children and Young People in 2015

KWO has been offered a very unique matching fund opportunity by one of our dedicated donors and we are excited to share the news with our KWO friends, family and supporters. The matching fund from DAK Foundation is ring-fenced especially for our “Children and Young People Dormitory Project”. This means in simple terms that every donation from you will be doubled by DAK-F. A very positive start to 2015 already!

Your donation will go a long way to help dormitory students.  A donation of just $40 USD will buy a student soap, toothpaste, and other hygeine supplies for 6 months.  A donation of just $60 USD will buy 11 students warm clothing for the cold season here. Just follow this link to make a contribution.

What are the Children’s Dormitories?
KWO has been supporting children in dormitories for many years. We are currently responsible for 8 dormitories housing 292 students in five refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. The 8 dormitories with 14 buildings provide a safe and caring environment for separated children from Karen State (in Burma) who travel to study in the refugee camps.

Why Dormitories?
The project is quite unique to match the unique circumstances along the border during this transitional but still very uncertain time in Burma. There are good quality schools in the camps, where children and young people can be schooled in all subjects including Karen (their mother tongue), Burmese and English. The refugee camp schools offer a great opportunity for these children. Some children are housed by family members but many find themselves without shelter. KWO provides this shelter and in doing so offers these children an opportunity to access education at a very important time in the Karen community’s development.

The Matching Fund from DAK Foundation
KWO has been offered a total of $50,000USD for the 2015-16 Dormitory Project year as a Matching Grant from our donor DAK Foundation.

What does that mean?
This means that DAK-F will double every donation we receive from you. If you donate $20 USD for example then the foundation will add $20 and KWO will receive $40 for the Dormitory Project. $10 will become $20 and $100 will become $200. If we raise a total of $45,000 then DAK-F will make it $90,000 USD. This is a great opportunity and we would love you to join us!

Never Walk Alone – Matching Fund appeal – February and March 2015
We are determined to succeed in our challenge to raise the funds for this project. So we are starting off with a TARGET to raise $15,000 from you by 31st March 2015. Please join us in helping to make this appeal a great success. All donations will be welcome from $5 to $50 to $500.

YOUR SUPPORT and next steps:
We invite YOU to make a donation via our website for the Never Walk Alone appeal. Our aim is to raise $15,000 by 31st March 2015 from your donations and this will be doubled to $30,000. We will give you regular updates on our Karen Women Organization Facebook Page:

• KWO will share personal stories from children in the dormitories. Some of the children and young people have been interviewed and we will introduce you to them. You will learn more about their life and the importance of the dormitories this way.

• KWO will keep you updated on our fundraising progress as we inch towards $15,000. Our deadline for this total is 31st March 2015.

 

‘If they had hope, they would speak’

The ongoing use of state sponsored sexual violence in Burma’s ethnic communities

cover_website(Yangon, November 24, 2014) – Burma Army soldiers continue to engage in acts of sexual violence on a widespread scale, and women and human rights defenders in ethnic communities face harassment and persecution, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) said in a new report published today to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. To achieve sustainable peace and help safeguard  the rights of ethnic women, the government of Burma must immediately stop its military offensives in the ethnic areas, pull back its troops and begin political dialogue with the ethnic armed groups towards genuine federalism.

Statement in English | ျမန္မာဘာသာ PDF1
Full Report in English | ျမန္မာဘာသာ အစီအရင္ခံစာဖတ္ရန္ PDF1

The WLB’s new report, ‘If they had hope, they would speak’: The ongoing use of state-sponsored sexual violence in Burma’s ethnic communities’, highlights 118 incidences of gang-rape, rape, and attempted sexual assault that have been documented in Burma since 2010, in both ceasefire and

Continue reading

KWO and Karen Quiet People celebrate International Deaf Day

In September 2014, KWO’s Special Education students, staff and families celebrated International Deaf Day. We worked together to raise awareness, to show our abilities and to educate our communities about living with deafness. These events took place in all seven camps.  Activities included action songs, dramas, role-plays and using Karen Deaf Sign Language to communicate with the audience.

The Special Education Students participated in competitions (songs, drawing photos, paper folding art, matching memory games, and writing games) with other organizations in the camps to build relationships. The SE Teachers took part in the activities with students, and conducted quizzes to challenge community knowledge about disability. Community leaders also gave speeches to the students, parents and community members.

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The Deaf students especially enjoyed the opportunity to teach community members how to use Karen Sign Language: words for fruit, days of the week, animals, and clothing were practiced by hundreds of people. This event was an opportunity for “the quiet people” to increase awareness about deafness.

Afraid to Go Home: Recent Violent Conflict and Human Rights Abuses in Karen State (KRW Report)

The following report was prepared by Karen Rivers Watch (KRW), a coalition of six Karen organizations focused on the environment, women, youth, human rights and development issues. This report is based on field interviews with local villagers and leaders of Karen armed groups, as well as media coverage of the recent conflict. It describes events that led to recent armed conflict between the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) and the combined force of the Burmese Army (BA) and Border Guard Force (BGF) in Karen State. Next, the report gives a detailed account of clashes that occurred along the Salween River in Hpa-an and Hpapun (Mutraw) districts. It also describes the current situation faced by more than 2,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), many of whom are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. It relates accounts of forced labor, looting of homes, confiscation of property, and increased militarization. Finally, it discusses how the recent fighting appears to be part of a calculated military strategy by the BA/BGF to control territory in Karen State, possibly motivated by plans to construct the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween River.

The report is available here:
http://kesan.asia/index.php/resources/publications-media/reports/viewdownload/4-reports/156-afraid-to-go-home-recent-violent-conflict-and-human-rights-abuses-in-karen-state

KWO Nursery Schools Mid-School Year: Competition, Teacher Training, and General Education

KWO runs nursery schools in 2 refugee camps on Thailand and in partnership with more than 70 villages in Karen State.  This past week, October 2014, the Nursery Schools in Mae La Oon and Mae Ra Moe refugee camps held a competition about the story of Karen Culture.  Here are some pictures from the events in each camp

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The nursery schools also are continuing their normal curriculum for the year

KWO’s nursery schools in Karen State are also continuing to provide quality curriculum, nutrition, teacher training, and support for families, despite a severe shortfall in funding.  If you can help support these schools please donate using the donate button on this website in the upper left.

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