2014 KWO Creating Peace project update

The Creating Peace Project staff has been busy with project activities over the past six months. Some of these project activities include:

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Peace Negotiation Updates:
Women community leaders gathered at KWO Central office to learn about peace negotiation updates. Leaders learned about the current situation in Karen State and Burma, ceasefire agreements, and the WGEC framework. Participants also discussed the Ethnic Armed Organization Conference and the agreements that were reached. KNU leaders were invited to share and explain their work with other ethnic groups.
Participants brought the information they learned during the peace negotiation updates back to their communities.

Community Consultation:
Creating Peace project staff held community consultations in which they shared information relevant to refugee return and the situation in Burma. Because of these consultations, community members gained knowledge about refugee return that they did not know before and they were able to express concerns to leaders.

Camp Based Information Sharing:
KWO has collected information about Refugee Return and shared that information to KWO camp leaders and KWO Camp leaders return to camp and share to their community of the issues.
Refugees are very concerned about the current situation in Burma, and they are afraid to going back. They did not believe the Burmese government. The community sees that the military camps are still working and being repaired and built up, which causes great concern. Land confiscation continues to be a problem in Burma, which adds to the concern of refugees.

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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.