Adolescent Reproductive Health Network

Goal: To promote better understanding of sexual and reproductive health and rights among adolescents in IDP areas in Burma and in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border, and create opportunities for adolescents in migrant communities in Thailand to access information.

About the project:  Since its inception in 2003, KWO has been involved with a network called the Adolescent Reproductive Health Network (AHRN) of nine interested organizations, which teaches young people about sexual and reproductive health. Alongside KWO, the network is made up of Mae Tao Clinic, Social Action for Women, Palaung Women’s Organization, Karen Youth Organization, Burmese Women’s Union, Burma Medical Association, United Lahu Youth Organization, Tavoy Women’s Organization and Backpack Health Worker Team.

Youth Centre: AHRN continues to operate its youth centre in Mae Sot that was set up in 2008. This centre provides a safe and open environment for young people from migrant communities to gather for social and educational activities, to access reproductive health information, contraception, counselling services, family planning supplies and referrals. The youth centre also has a library, badminton set, tennis table, cane ball and a guitar for migrant communities to access. A television is available for watching educational DVDs that are accessible from the centre. Staff are rostered to sit in the youth centre, so that someone is constantly available for talking to the youth if they need.

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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.