World Refugee Day Event in Umphiem and Mae La Camp

20th June, 2013 World Refugee Day Event: Umphiem and Mae La Camp
Three hundred refugees in Umphiem camp united on 20 June 2013 in recognition of World Refugee Day. The event was organized by the Camp Committee, CBOs and some NGOs. Thai local authorities, UNHCR and other NGOs joined the event. During the event different groups and organizations, including KWO, gave speeches. KSNG camp based students’ group preformed a drama about unsafe conditions such as land mines, which make it dangerous for refugees to return (to Burma). The event also showcased traditional dance and song from different ethnic groups in the camp and refugee children.
In Mae La camp approximately 3,000 refugees and community members came together on 20 June 2013 in recognition of World Refugee Day. The day was organized by the Camp Committee and camp based CBOs such as KWO, KSNG and some NGOs. CBOs, NGOs, UNHCR, KRC and local authorities participated in the event. Activities included a drama about how people become refugees by HI camp based staffs and traditional song and dance performances by a few ethnic groups in camp. The Thai authorities were present and received thanks from different organizations working on the border for hosting refugees in Thailand.

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Youth from both camps participated in a Drawing Competition. Three winners were selected from each camp and presented with prizes. All of the contestants also received a small gift.

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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.