Organizing Trips to Refugee camps and Inside Karen State

In order to maintain channels of communication between KWO managers, offices, refugee camps and members inside Karen State, and to facilitate community mobilising we conduct “organizing trips”.

In the refugee camps the KWO Executive Committee members, and central office staff travelled and met with KWO members and staff at all camp levels. They monitored KWO projects, advised on KWO work, and exchanged information with a wide range of women and community leaders.

Within the Karen State, unfortunately not every district could be reached by KWO’s EC members, because  travel is reliant on the security situation being stable on the way and at the destination and due to Burmese Army attacks, it has not always been safe enough for civilians to move around in these areas. Additionally, KWO has lacked the funds to conduct these trips to some areas, even when security situation might have allowed it.

Nonetheless, in 2009-2010, KWO was able to conduct 7 Organising Trips to areas in Karen State. Between 3 and 7 senior members participated in each trip, talking to countless local KWO staff, KWO members, community leaders and local villagers about KWO activities and the situation in the area. They conducted training sessions and workshops on KWO’s constitution, organizational structure and activities, and on leadership, public speaking and documentation.

 

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About Karen Women Organisation

The Karen Women Organisation was formed in 1949 and has a membership of over 64,100 women. KWO is a community-based organisation of Karen women working in development and relief in the refugee camps on the Thai border and with IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and women inside Burma. Since our formation in 1949 we have expanded our focus from one of purely social welfare to try to encourage an awareness of Women's Rights and to promote women’s participation in the community decision making and political processes. The objectives of the KWO  To assist women in the endeavour to be free from all forms of oppression.  To promote and empower women in all spheres of life, including education and general living standards.  To encourage women to participate in the struggle for freedom, democracy and equality.  To develop women's knowledge, ability and skills, including political and organizational skills.  To achieve the rights of women and equal status with men.  To promote and maintain Karen culture and traditions.  To improve the well-being of women and children and to increase their access to adequate health, education and welfare services. KWO aims to empower women through offering various capacity building trainings to teach skills, build confidence and create new opportunities so that women will be better able to solve problems. We are working hard to educate ourselves and our communities so that we can work more effectively and advocate for our struggle on the international stage. We believe that women’s contribution is an essential factor in the peace-building and national reconciliation processes of Burma.