Safe Houses

KWO seeks to provide a safe shelter and support services within the Karen refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border for needy and vulnerable women and children, especially survivors of sexual or gender based violence (SGBV). In 2009 – 2010, KWO operated 11 safe houses in 7 camps. KWO safe houses provide a temporary place of shelter for women or girls who have suffered violence, and for any of their children who need it. The safe houses main target are women and children who have been victims of SGBV however, we also provide temporary shelter to any woman and child in trouble, and who might be as such, more vulnerable to abuse. In 2009 and 2010 safe houses provided protection in non-SGBV cases of women and girls who were unaccompanied, mentally ill, disabled or elderly.

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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.