Naw K’nyaw Paw, Secretary of KWO Interviewed by RFA Karen Language TV Program Regarding “21st Century Panglong Conference”

Featured

On 15th-16th July, 2016 , Karen Peace Support Network(KPSN) successfully conducted meeting with a total of approximately 30 participants to discuss about strengthening peace support network within Karen community.

Most of the discussion based on the current political issues and peace process updates including the new civilian government of Burma announcement on conducting “21st Century Panglong Conference”.

After two whole days meeting , KPSN came up with priority issues and specific action plans which will strengthen and support the peace process and ensure the voice of Karen community being heard in “21st Century Panglong Conference”.

KWO Message: On-Going Use of Rape by Burma Army

16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women

KWO Message: On-going Sexual Violence by Burma Army

During this current 16 Day Campaign to increase awareness about Violence Against Women, KWO feels obligated to raise our voices about the on-going use of rape and other forms of violence against women by the Burma Army.

In Burmese military operations in Arakan State over the past months, there have been consistent reports received of widespread, systematic sexual violence against Rohingya women by Burma Army troops. In a little over one month, 192 reports have been received of incidents of rape committed by Burma military. We are deeply pained by these reports, which revive memories of similar horrors endured for decades by women in our communities at the hands of the Burma Army. Other reports continue to emerge of the widespread use of torture, unlawful killings, and disappearances suffered by the Rohingya people at the hands of the Burma Army soldiers. Cases of 428 deaths, and 192 disappearances of Rohingya people have been documented. Our hearts go out to the Rohingya women and their families at this time.

We are further saddened by the NLD government’s denial of these reports of sexual and physical violence by Burma Army troops. We expected the Army to deny the reports, as they always have, but we did not expect the NLD to do the same. We had higher hopes also from Nobel Peace Laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2011 she said “Rape is used in my country as a weapon against those who only want to assert their basic human rights, especially in the areas of the ethnic nationalities. Rape is rife. It is used as a weapon by the armed forces to intimidate the ethnic nationalities and to divide our country.” So we had such hope that sexual violence by Burmese soldiers would not be allowed to happen if DASSK was in power, or if it did happen, she would quickly take action, or speak out against it. We see now that these were empty political words.

In June 2014, Burma signed the “Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict”. There was a lot of media publicity, and the Burma government smiled with Hollywood movie stars in London under the limelight of world attention. We wonder when will be the right time for Burma to act on their promises. There are 12 commitments in that Declaration they signed and none of them have been honoured as yet. Burmese soldiers continue to rape with impunity. How are signatories to the Declaration held to account?

From 2005 to 2016, eleven women’s organization from Burma, published at least 33 separate reports on the violence against women perpetrated by the soldiers of the Burma Army. All of this evidence has been denied by the Burma Army and Burma governments. Denial, then impunity, is the pattern of behavior we have observed for generations. Is it possible all these women are lying? Or could it be true that soldiers of the Burma Army are aggressive and abuse their power and are not held to account?

Burma Army soldiers are well-trained and well-equipped. They have jet fighters bombing villages in Kachin State; there are many officers; a chain of command; penalties for disobeying orders, like most armies in the world. For Burma Army soldiers to rape with impunity, on this scale and for this length of time, it requires the collusion of the whole national military hierarchy. When soldiers rape and nothing is done, their commanders are also guilty. When nothing is done by commanders, no order disseminated that rape will not be tolerated, the whole army and the national government are all guilty.

In honour of the courage of women in Myanmar, we ask Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD government today, to make a simple nation-wide announcement: “Sexual violence is prohibited to members of the Mynamar Army. Any Myanmar soldier found to have committed this crime, and his commanding officers, will be severely punished.”

KWO Message International Day to Stop Violence against Women

kwo-message-on-going-use-of-rape-by-burma-army

KWO Message International Day to Stop Violence against Women

Today is the special day, recognized in the world, to bring attention to efforts to stop violence against women. The 25th of November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and is also the opening day for the annual Campaign that will last for 16 days and which highlights community-based activism to stop violence against women all over the world. On this special day KWO welcomes and values everyone who wants to co-operate, and unite with us in their hearts, and who will take part in events and activities in the coming days.

kwo-message-stop-violence-against-women-day-2016-english-version

KWO would like to remind all people that this is not a day to express happiness or to feel pleased to be at an opening event. The reason we should not be happy is because today reminds all of us that violence is still used against women. It has not stopped yet; women are still being raped, still being beaten; children are still being raped, still being hurt; and victims of violence still do not get justice.  We all have to take on the responsibility to stop violence against women and children in our own corner of the world, and make sure that perpetrators are found and punished and not allowed to walk free. All of us need to show we will not accept violence in our community.

The theme for the Campaign that KWO has chosen this year is “Strengthen law and promote justice for the protection of women and children”. From KWO’s experience in providing services to women and children who have suffered physical or sexual violence, we see that the law is not enforced effectively, so that the victims are not receiving justice. We believe that strengthening the law and then enforcing that law will be essential to break down and prevent violence used against women and children.

Currently, we say that we need national peace and justice in our country. However, in our own smaller communities, if violence continues and there is no rule of law then we cannot say that we have the peace that we dream of having.

On this day, the Karen Women’s Organization would like to call upon our community, especially the men, to take responsibility to stop violence. If you see anyone using violence with women or with children, please find the best way to stop it and then make sure that action is taken with the perpetrators in accordance with the facts and with the law.

We know that in the community many men do not accept the use of violence. And themselves, they are not violent. However there are some men who do use violence, and do not understand their own power and they misuse it. Therefore it is important for male leaders, including young people in the community, to help to protect women and to protect children, by working to strengthen laws and to promote justice. Men of all ages, should help other men by encouraging them to change, explaining to them, not to use violence, and especially not on women and children. Explain to them that this is a crime and if anyone commits it, action can be taken against them.

KWO believes that in our community, everyone including men, do not want to see violence used on mothers, children, wives, aunts and sisters. Therefore we can stand with a united heart to prevent and respond to violence against women.

We encourage everyone to take responsibility in our own corners to let the violence stop. Following the law and promote justice in the community. We have to work hand in hand in our community to show that we do not accept violence in any form, that we promote justice for all, and that the law is strong enough to genuinely offer protection to women and to children.

In solidarity,

Karen Women’s Organization

 

KWO Conducted Monitoring Trip for Nursery School Project in Mu Traw District

On the 22nd of September a team of KWO Central leaders and staff conducted a monitoring trip to the Mu Traw District nursery schools located in Noh Paw Htee and Ken Daw villages supported by KWO. The team met with teachers and local KWO leaders responsible for the schools, observed schools in operation with teachers teaching, classroom management, student lunches and  hygiene.  They also observed the use of  teaching aids and other project related activities like student. profiles and attendance lists.

Please see some pictures below;

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

Ethical Leadership and Organisational Management Short Course Graduation

29 people from different Karen CBOs, Karen Office of Relief and Development (KORD), Karen Legal Aids Centre (KLAC), Karen Teachers Working Group (KTWG) and KWO attended this 2 month long special course. KWO is very proud of all of the 19 of the KWO senior staff who completed it. Congratulations to you all!
We want to thank the three instructors: Thara Harry Wah, Thara William Poe and Tharamu Cha Ku for their time and effort that made these two months possible.
We would also like to thank both the IRC/PLE Program and Payap University for creating this kind of opportunity for community based organisations. We are proud of all 29 graduates and look forward to seeing their contributions to our community applying what they have learned from the course.
Finally we would like to take this opportunity to thank USAID for supporting this program.

img_0295

KWO Team Creates  A Kid Friendly Environment in Displaced Villages

As we reported earlier a KWO team went to distribute the emergency supplies to recently displaced Karen families in two Karen Villages. Our team also bought some refreshment for children  to help make  them happier in this difficult situation.  These are pictures from the visit.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

KWO Successfully Distributes Emergency Assistance to Recently Displaced Families

On 24th September 2016, a KWO team went to Naw Ta and Htee Thay Khee Villages to distribute clothing, pots, plates, spoons, mats, blankets, and new born baby care kits to all of the Internally Displaced People there. The materials distributed today were for children and adults, both men and women. We distributed everything needed together with support from our community leaders and supporters including Karen Unity Hope.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

KWO would like to take this opportunity thank all of the Karen Community in different countries for their in-kind support and also those individuals who sent donations.

Based upon our needs assessment, this will be our final day giving out this kind of emergency assistance. For those who contributed, we will send you both a narrative and a financial report after all our team in the field is back to our main office.

If you would like to contribute to more long term support please contact CIDKP or KRC.

KWO Update: Emergency Distributions to the new Internally Displaced People

Today, 22nd of September 2016

KWO team together with some other community supporters went to Naw Hta Village and distributed the emergency needs for the recent displaced people. All of the materials that we districted are shown in pictures below. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

KWO Celebrates International Day of Peace Event on 21 September 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

KWO Celebrates International Day of Peace Event in Karen State

Today, In recognition of International Day of Peace, KWO conducted the International Day of Peace event in Noh Paw Htee, Dew Loe Township, Mu Traw district. And there are a total of 1,246 participants which 538 are Female and 708 are Males from more than 20 villages.

In Taw Oo district, KWO collaborated with the Karen Students Network Group in developing a peace campaign around the International Day of Peace. And the event joined by more than one thousand participants.

The events in each sites included different kinds of competitions such as debates, impromptu speeches and question and answer sessions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Follow up Updates on KWO Need Assessments in Htee Thay Khee and Naw Hta Villages

KWO conducted a need assessment in Htee Thay Khee and Naw Hta, between the 18 – 20 Sept 2016. The total number of IDPs is 530 and they are from Ler Peh Dea,Jay Baw Klo, Thay Kaw, Poe Chit Lea, Nya Mer Tay Hta, Oo Moo Kee and Mae Wah village.The latest number of newly displaced people in Htee Thay Khee is 146 people from 25 families, Naw Hta is 193 from 30 families and in Mae Law Hta is 16 people from 3 families and Mae Tha Waw is 175 people from 38 families.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The villagers are in urgent need of food, clothing, pots, pans, plates, plastic sheets, water containers, shoes, blankets, mats, mosquito nets and other personal hygiene packages. For the moment this displaced people received some dried foods and clothing from the individuals donation. KWO is coordinating with other Karen CBOs and individuals to response to this emergency situations.

There has been serious fighting in the Mae Tha Waw area of Hpa An District. The Burma Army-proxy Border Guard Force (BGF) attacked a faction of the DKBA and since then the conflict has been going on throughout September.

 

If you interested to contribute please contact KWO at kwocentral@gmail.com or call KWO Emergency Relief Contact Person Naw Paw K’Yeh Moo at 66  857309056 for more information. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.