KWO Celebrates 33rd Anniversary

kwo logo

On the occasion of KWO’s 33rd anniversary, April 5, 2018, we celebrate our successes while also looking at our challenges ahead and how to overcome them. KWO will have it’s largest celebration of the anniversary in the Taw Oo District of Karen State led by the KWO Central leadership. The celebration includes a sport competition, a concert showing Karen culture, songs, and dancing. KWO will also present information on KWO’s work, the peace process and gender equality. KWO will particularly honor KWO leaders and staff who have worked full time for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and 25 years respectively. KWO is the strong vibrant organization we have become because of their commitment and hard work.

Naw Paw GayIt is our honor to recognize Nan Paw Gay as well for her leadership and contribution to our community and to Burma. She is a member of the KWO Standing Committee and has worked in community media. Due to her talent and hard work she rose to Chief Editor of the Karen Information Center in 2008. She was also Burma News International (BNI) Executive Director.

hser hser

Additionally, we honor a KWO young leader, Naw Hser Hser, a KWO Standing Committee member and Joint General Secretary of the Women’s League of Burma. Naw Hser Hser won the P’doh Mahn Sha Young Leadership Award this year which she will receive on KWO day. KWO congratulates Naw Hser Hser on her award. Naw Hser Hser is a role model for younger women in our community through her hard work for KWO, the Karen community, and the entire ethnic community in Burma.

Both these women show the strength, vision, and hard work of Karen women and inspire all of us through their work.

In addition to all these women we also want to recognize the 80 Traditional Birth Attendants who work with KWO for their incredible contribution to the health and well being of women and children in our community.

KWO will honor 151 women and 2 men today for their positive contribution the Karen community. The list of those being recognized follows:

  • Women’s Champion in Social Work: Nan Paw Gay, Chief Editor of Karen Information Center and Executive Director of Burma News International

  • Women with over 25 years of service: P’doh Myaing Poe, P’doh Paw Day Toe, Tharmu Shwe Paw, Thramu Baw Nyaw, P’doh Naw Dah Dah,  and Naw Khin Yin

  • Women with over 10 years of service: 31 women

  • Women with over 15 years of service: 30 women

  • Women with over 5 years of service: 5 women

  • Traditional Birth Attendants: 80 people (78 women and 2 men)

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Third Karen Women’s Seminar held in Karen State

KWO is excited to announce the formation of a new a new “Karen Grassroots Women’s Network” which will strengthen the voice of Karen women in advocacy efforts.   KWO gathered women from a wide variety of Karen civil society organisations for the third Karen Women’s Seminar at the end of March 2018.

The women discussed issues for two days and decided to form the new Grassroots Women’s Network.  At the conclusion of the seminar the attendees jointly endorsed the following resolutions:

  1. We call on the Burma Army to stop their military operations in all ethnic areas.
  2. We want the 2008 constitution to be abolished and call on the Burma  Government to begin a process whereby a genuine federal constitution can be drawn up.
  3. We also call on all stakeholders to stop mega development projects in all ethnic areas until there is genuine peace and a political settlement.
  4. There must be no forced repatriation of refugees.
  5. We also call on the international community and donors to continue to support
    humanitarian aid to refugees and IDPs according to international standards until peace is restored in the country

3rd Karen Women Seminar, 2018 Karen Version (1)3rd Karen Women Seminar Statement in BurmeseThird Karen Women Seminar 2018 Statement Eng Version (1)

KWO Receives Women of Change Award

KWO was awarded a Women of Change award by the United States Embassy in Rangoon.  The Women of Change Award is a U.S.Embassy initiative “to recognize Myanmar women who have made significant and lasting contributions to their communities…”

 

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DVB coverage Burmese

Karen news coverage – English

Irrawaddy Coverage – English

Frontier – Myanmar Coverage – English

KWO Statement on International Women’s Day

KWO Statement in Karen Version:

KWO Statement in English Version:

 

KWO Campaign, Stop Domestic Violence Against Women and Children, 16 Days of Activism

On the 23rd of November, KWO members and leaders were excited to launch our 16 day International Days for the Elimination of Violence against Women Campaign.  The KWO campaign focus this year, is  “Stop Domestic Violence Against Women and Children”.  We will have activities in 7 Karen Refugees Camps and 7 districts in Karen State for members of our community to participate in.  Below are photos from the launch.

 

Refugee Activists Discuss Pressure to Return from Thai-Myanmar Border at Chiang Mai Seminar

At a public seminar in Thailand last week, Karen and Karenni officials raised concerns about the increasing pressure for refugees to return from the Thai-Myanmar border as international funding for camps dries up.

“The refugees from the Thai-Myanmar border are not ready to return home,” said Naw Elizabeth, deputy director of the Karenni Education Department, who took part in the September 13 seminar at Chiang Mai University.

“We discussed the need for international donors to continue their support as the refugees’ continue to have basic unmet needs [like] education and health,” she added.

The public event, called “Syria to Myanmar: Who are Refugees?” was organized by the US Embassy in Thailand and Chiang Mai University. About 100 people attended, included members of refugee and internally displaced persons assistance groups like the Border Consortium, the Karen Refugee Committee, the Karenni Education Department and the Shan Women’s Action Network.

Over 100,000 refugees live in nine refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border while over 3,000 Karen IDPs remain at the Ei Tu Hta temporary shelter and over 6,000 Shan IDPs are residing in camps along the Thai-Shan border, according to refugee activists. They added that after the Myanmar government and ethnic armed organizations signed ceasefire agreements and started implementing the peace process beginning in 2011, pressure has escalated for refugees and IDPs to return to their homes. While international aid organizations, swamped with other, fresher crises, are forced to dedicate resources elsewhere, the Myanmar refugees say their needs are increasingly going unmet, while lack of livelihoods in their original villages, and in some cases the threat of landmines and fresh conflict, prevents an easy return.

“The international community does not know the real situation of our refugees. I’m glad to have the chance to explain how the issues occurring at the Karen refugee camps are directly related to Myanmar politics,” said Saw Hay Soe Thar Ko, an education officer with the Karen Refugee Committee.

According to participants, a foreign student also discussed the ongoing crisis in Rakhine State at the seminar. Over 400,000 Muslim residents have fled over the border to Bangladesh in the past month, while 30,000 Buddhist and Hindu villagers have been internally displaced by fighting between an insurgent group and the Tatmadaw.

  • Written by Saw Shar/ KIC News

The original article can be viewed via BNI at:

http://www.bnionline.net/news/karen-state/item/3497-refugee-activists-discuss-pressure-to-return-from-thai-myanmar-border-at-chiang-mai-seminar.html

KWO Three Year Report for 2014, 2015 and 2016

A selection of figures from some of our projects:

  • 6,087 children were supported through KWO Nursery schools in 2014; 5,939 in 2015 and 5,693 in 2016.
  • Nursery schools are in 6 districts of Karen State, 2 refugee camps in Thailand, and Ee Tu Hta IDP camp.
  • 11,194 Baby kits were distributed to women in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by KWO. These were distributed across the 7 districts of Karen State and in Ee Tu Hta IDP camp, Karen State.
  • 28 young women graduated from KWO’s KYWLS in 2014. 18 graduated in 2015. 26 graduated in 2016.
  • Every year KWO runs activities centering on the International Campaign 16 days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 all together 41, 022 men and women were engaged in these actions

Download the full three year report in English: KWO three year report (2014 – 2016)