KWO Statement on International Women 2019 Burmese VersioThe Karen Women Organization (KWO) welcomes another International Women’s Day. Our themes for this year is “Courage to Speak, Ending Impunity Now”.
This year marks the 108th year of International Women’s Day. It is extremely important that we look back to celebrate the progress and achievements of women all over the world. It is equally important we commit to continuing the fight for what we believe, overcoming all the challenges we face.
We have come so far. Sadly, we still have a long road to travel but not an impassable one.
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Karen Women’s Organization
International Women of Courage Award
March 6, 2019
Naw K’nyaw Paw and the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) are honored this year to accept the “International Women of Courage Award” from the US State Department. Naw K’nyaw Paw is accepting the award in Washington DC on behalf of the KWO. We were given this award for our “position for consistently condemning the Burma army to end military violence against civilians, for speaking out about the military violence against the Rohingya, and speaking out against SGBV in conflict”. KWO gives consistent support for all ethnic women. We work with community women on a wide variety of issues and support including childcare, leadership development, advocacy, health care and education. KWO works to support women throughout their lives.
The Burmese military violence continues today, increasing in some areas on northern Burma, in the west and beginning again in the south east. Women and children continue to be forced to run and hide from Burmese Army attacks as we write.
In 2004, KWO released a report “Shattering Silences”, highlighting the Burmese Army’s sexual abuse to Karen women. Later KWO released “State of Terror” and later still “Walking Amongst Sharp Knives” all documenting abuse of Karen Women by the Burmese Army. Then last year the world watched in horror as the Burmese Army unleashed unspeakable crimes, this time against Rohingya women. Thousands of rapes have been well documented across one ethnic population after another and still these men run the Government and control the lives of our people. It is time for the world to take action and bring these men to justice.
All indigenous ethnic women are either vulnerable to attack or are currently being attacked by the Burmese Army. It will not end until the world takes action as a united community against these extreme human rights violations and hold those Generals in charge fully accountable. The peace process has stalled, the removal of sanctions has not brought us greater respect for human rights, it is still unsafe to return, or to speak the truth in our country. We need targeted sanctions and a body outside Burma to hold the Generals accountable.
While we work for peace we hope the world will not forget the refugees the world over. For us rations and services have been deeply cut. Refugees and Internally Displace People in Burma need food, healthcare and education to live. Please remember those in need as we accept the honors we also hope for resources and assistance for our community.
KWO is accepting this International Women of Courage Award along with 10 amazing women from across the globe who are also being honored.
We have many courageous women in Burma but when we see this group on honorees, we realize just how much we can accomplish when we are not afraid and we work together. KWO’s fellow recipients fight for and serve the neediest across the globe. Olivera Lakic writes the truth in Montenegro despite threats and attacks. Moumina Houssein Darar brings the rule of law to Djibouti. Magda Gobran Gorgy educates the poorest in Egypt, Colonel al-Twal helps people like me in her own country of Jordan, Marini de Livera brings the rule of law to women and children in Sri Lanka, Anna Aloys Henga defends human rights in Tanzania, Flor de Maria Vega Zapata works to protect the environment in Peru, Razia Sultana brings her legal knowledge to documenting the violence done against the Rohingya, Sister Orla Treacy educates and supports girls in Sudan and Marini help protect women and children in Sri Lanka. This group touches every part of our lives, all over the world. KWO is humbled by their work and honored to stand beside them.
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Karen Women’s Organization
Statement in Support of the Karenni Students’ Protest Against Burmanization
12th February 2019
The Karen Women’s Organization calls on the NLD Government and the Burmese military-run police to show respect both for indigenous history and for peaceful protest. We believe that before we can have true peace in our beloved land we must have mutual respect for our differences and for those things that hold us together.
The Karenni youth have taken a courageous stand against the placement of General Aung San’s statue in the Karenni capital, Loikaw. We as fellow indigenous women understand that Burmese ethnic people hold the General as a hero of their people and the father of their independence. This is not how the indigenous people of Burma view him. He was a General in the Burmese Army. The same Army that attacks civilians, uses rape as a weapon of war and burns villages. The same Army that has forced millions to flee our homeland over the past 70 years. The same Army that causes many of our people to live in poverty and in refugee camps.
We have our own heroes who we would like to see in bronze in the center of our towns. We have been prohibited from honoring them in this way. We cannot have a country that continues to hold one ethnic group above all others, only honoring their history while suppressing ours. We need to respect each other every day. The Karenni youth have shown how divisive the aggressive actions of the NLD government and military are. They are not the first to object to honoring General Aung San in ethnic areas within Burma. There was the protest against naming a bridge in honor of the General. There have been objections raised to put up statues in other areas. It is time for the Burmanization of our country to end. We have many indigenous groups who have a right to a voice and have heroes worth honoring. We want peace to move forward not provocation by those who want to hold us back or make us disappear.
We call on the police to stop interfering with violence against peaceful protest. There have been 55 youth and students arrested and charged in the past 8 months for speaking their truth. They should be granted this basic right of assembly and protest. They face the prospect of long sentences and large fines. All charges should be dropped immediately.
We call on the NLD to listen to the local voices and remove the statues of General Aung San from ethnic areas. The NLD and the Burmese Military should act in the spirit of the Panglong Agreement General Aung San entered into. It promised autonomy for ethnic people in a federal democracy. The best way to honor him today is to grant those rights to the indigenous people of Burma. It is time to recognize the strength in our diversity and the wonderful country that diversity could build if we treated each other with basic human dignity.
We want peace to move forward. These actions would be an olive branch to the indigenous people of Burma.
For more information please contact the Karen Women’s Organization at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is a very important day for all women all over the world. November 25th is the day when all people in the world should give their time to recognize and honor all the women who have suffered from violence and at the same time, make a commitment to stop the violence.
Please see our message:
For the 2018-19-project period, KWO Special Education Project conducted TOT training in four places: Mae La and Ma Ra Moe, Bang Dong Yang, and Htam Him. Every year there are new teachers who need to be trained.
From 9 to 18 May 2018, we conducted training for participants from three camps; Mae La, Umpiem and Nu poe camp in Mae La Camp. There were 24 participants. They were field coordinators, school directors, trainers, and teachers.
From 24 May to 2 June 2018, the training took place in Mae Ra Moe. There were 18 participants.
From 4 to 12 June 2018, the training took place in Bang Dong Yang and Tham Him. For Bang Dong Yang and Htam Him, the trainers separated themselves and provided training for the school director and all teachers in two sites.
The training topics included:
- Review of Individual Education Plans
- The daily program training and (4) months per one time we put the goal of each child
- Review of children with disabilities (meaning and how to work with them)
- The management project
- The children meeting program
- The review back project activities tables
The trainings were provided by Naw Eh Shee, NawHsaLer Paw, Naw Stone Paw, NawHtee Moo SheendNaw Paw PlaWah.
The strengths of this training
All of the teachers in the training were very happy, worked in the small groups together and shared their experiences on what they had done.
- The participants were interested in the training and showed this by asking questions when they did not understand.
- The teachers had improved and developed their writing teaching plan for each day, and trusted each other in their work because of the frequency of the training
- For new teachers who had the training for the first time, they were able to use this knowledge in their project activities to advance the learning of their students
- The topic was new and useful for learning about special education. The training will help the teachers to understand how the they can work better and support their students
- Beneficial for teachers to give confidence for their students.
- The training provided different ways to understand different types of children and learning styles – and how they can adapt their teaching styles to benefit each student appropriately
In May 2018, the KWO Early Childhood Development Education project conducted TOT for project senior staff, field coordinators, trainers, head teachers and teachers. This TOT training had not been organized since 2014.
In May we conducted this training in Mae Ra Moe camp. The training lasted 21 days starting on 7th May 2018 and finished on 2 June 2018. The people who participated the training included 34 representatives from Mae Ra Moe and 20 from Mae La Oo camps. They were senior field coordinators, head trainers, school directors, teachers, and field coordinators from Mae La Oo, CBT, Early Childhood Development Education, Project Coordinator, Early Childhood Development Education Project Assistant and Karen State Early Childhood Development Education Project Coordinator and Karen State Early Childhood Development Education Project Assistant. All of the participants were women.
This training was given by:
- Thara Mu Moo Ra Say- Field Head Teacher Trainer
- Thara Mu La Lay Paw- Head Senior Field Coordinator
- Thara Mu Kae Lai Byew-Supervision
- Thara Mu Stone Paw-Accountant
- Thara Mu Htee Moo Shee-Accountants
The training topics:
- The growth of child.
- Child Rights.
- Teacher quality.
- Two question types.
- Good teacher stories.
- Time management programs.
- Teaching programs.
- Management programs.
- Hygiene and cleaning.
- Nutrition Food.
- Smart Objectives.
- Five important questions can ask yourself when you work with your organization.
- Teaching framework has (5) elements.
- The situation of the environment.
- Child protection has (5) aspects.
- Words used in objective writing.
- Training plan.
- Child protection (or) child rights.
- Role of trainers.
- The growth of children has (4) types.
- Human needs.
- Child psychology.
- Action plan.
- Teaching program and review of the curriculum.
This training included new topics that were beneficial to the trainees attending. The participants shared that their knowledge increased and had a greater understanding of the topics introduced. Some of the trainers from Mae La Oo camps were new so they had less to share because of a lack of experience background. Another challenge was that trainings held in the daytime saw fewer participants because attendees were taking care of their families.
From Karen Women’s Organization and Karen News
The IDPs return home with dignity and safety? “We do not dare to go back because of the landmines that are planted in the fields where we make our living. If we go back, we could lose our limbs at any moment.” Currently, the Burma Army’s operations in Mutraw District violates the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and has recently displaced more than 2,000 villagers from their homes. These displaced villagers, feel unsafe, have received threats, concerns and repression to return to their abandoned villages. They feel there is no guarantee for their safety and security and many political problems are unresolved. The displaced Karen people in Ei Tu Hta IDP camp are now facing a massive humanitarian crisis.
Please watch this video produced by KWO and Karen News about the current crisis
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Please click here to download the statement, Karen Version: