KWO ECD Project Seeks 2019 Funding

We are seeking funding in 2019-20 to continue our early childhood education project in 7 districts in Karen State including Ee Htu Hta IDP camp on the banks of the Salween River. The project provides support to 100 nursery schools. The nursery schools provide basic education, safe day-care services, and a nutritious lunch to an estimated 4,447 children aged 2.8 to 5 years. KWO nursery project’s mission is to support and develop community-run nursery schools which provide quality early childhood development and child protection programming in partnership with the local community. Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. Please help us to continue our efforts in providing these services to the children in our communities.

 

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KWO Responds to UN Statement

cropped-18361502_1726136910744974_2085230667_n.png Karen Women’s Organization

KWO always called on the sanction targeted the Burma Army including their business. Unless they feel hurt they will never reform and change their mentality. They will continue to act with impunity. KWO welcome and support the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar exposes military business ties, calls for targeted sanctions and arms embargoes and call on the international community to impose sanctions.

Last month the US government has imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s top military commander Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and the three of his highest-ranking general and their immediate family members on a ban from entering the US. KWO welcome the US government actions and call on more ban to generals and not just visiting ban but also economic sanctions on their business.

We also call on other government to take actions and follow the UN Fact-finding recommendations.

 Please see the full statement from the UN Human Rights Council below:

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Media Statement

UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar exposes military business ties, calls for targeted sanctions and arms embargoes

GENEVA (5 August 2019) – The U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar urged the international community on Monday to sever ties with Myanmar’s military and the vast web of companies it controls and relies on. The Mission said the revenues the military earns from domestic and foreign business deals substantially enhances its ability to carry out gross violations of human rights with impunity.

The report, for the first time, establishes in detail the degree to which Myanmar’s military has used its own businesses, foreign companies and arms deals to support brutal operations against ethnic groups that constitute serious crimes under international law, bypassing civilian oversight and evading accountability.

The Mission said the U.N. Security Council and Member States should immediately impose targeted sanctions against companies run by the military, known as the Tatmadaw. It encouraged consumers, investors and firms at home and abroad to engage with businesses unaffiliated with the military instead.

The Mission also called for the imposition of an arms embargo, citing at least 14 foreign firms from seven nations that have supplied fighter jets, armored combat vehicles, warships, missiles and missile launchers to Myanmar since 2016. During this period the military carried out extensive and systematic human rights violations against civilians in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine States, including the forced deportation of more than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya to Bangladesh.

“The implementation of the recommendations in this report will erode the economic base of the military, undercut its obstruction of the reform process, impair its ability to carry out military operations without oversight and thus reduce violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and serve as a form of accountability in the short-term,” said Mission Chair Marzuki Darusman.

The Mission’s report exposes two of Myanmar’s most opaque enterprises, Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), both of which are owned and influenced by senior military leaders. Among them are Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice Senior General Soe Win, both of whom the Mission previously said should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

MEHL and MEC own at least 120 businesses involved in everything from construction to pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, insurance, tourism and banking. Both companies, along with at least 26 of their subsidiaries, hold licences for jade and ruby mining in Kachin and Shan states. International human rights and humanitarian law violations, including forced labour and sexual violence, have been perpetrated by the Tatmadaw in northern Myanmar in connection with their business activities.

“Given the extent of Tatmadaw involvement in jade and ruby mining in northern Myanmar, businesses and consumers should conduct heightened due diligence to ensure that they are not purchasing, selling, trading or otherwise using gems produced or sold by enterprises owned or influenced by the Tatmadaw,” said Mission Expert Radhika Coomaraswamy.

The investigative report follows recommendations the Mission’s Experts made last year after documenting how Myanmar’s armed forces brutally violated the human rights of ethnic groups nationwide. The 2018 report focused heavily on “clearance operations” against the Rohingya in Rakhine State that began on 25 August 2017, when security forces killed thousands of Rohingya civilians, raped and sexually abused women and girls, and burned their villages to the ground.

The 111-page report, released Monday in Geneva, contains five annexes that list military businesses and foreign and domestic businesses that contribute to or benefit from the Tatmadaw and its operations.

While it is clear that Myanmar authorities must be held accountable for the human rights violations they perpetrated, the report emphasizes that concrete action must also be taken to address corporate responsibility to respect human rights in Myanmar.

The report details how 45 companies and organizations in Myanmar donated over 10 million dollars to the military in the weeks following the beginning of the 2017 clearance operations in Rakhine State. So-called “crony companies” with close links to the Tatmadaw later financed development projects in Rakhine State that furthered the military’s “objective of re-engineering the region in a way that erases evidence of Rohingya belonging to Myanmar.”

“Officials of these companies should be investigated with a view to criminal prosecution for making substantial and direct contributions to the commission of crimes under international law, including crimes against humanity,” Mission Expert Chris Sidoti said.

The report named two companies, KBZ Group and Max Myanmar, which helped finance the construction of a barrier fence along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border “knowing that it would contribute to the suffering and anguish associated with preventing the displaced Rohingya population from returning to their homes and land.”

The report found that at least 15 foreign firms have joint ventures with the Tatmadaw, while 44 others have some form of commercial ties with Tatmadaw businesses. These foreign companies risk contributing to, or being linked to, violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. At a minimum, they are contributing to supporting the military’s financial capacity. All companies doing business in or buying goods from Myanmar should conduct heightened due diligence to ensure they are not benefiting the Tatmadaw.

“The Mission’s findings from this investigation provide the international community with a more complete understanding of Myanmar’s human rights crisis; one that should compel the international community and individual States to take a coordinated multilateral approach to accountability, justice and ending the human rights crisis in Myanmar,” said Mission Expert Radhika Coomaraswamy.

“The revenue that these military businesses generate strengthens the Tatmadaw’s autonomy from elected civilian oversight and provides financial support for the Tatmadaw’s operations with their wide array of international human rights and humanitarian law violations,” said Mission Expert Christopher Sidoti.

Mission Chair Marzuki Darusman said: ”Removing the Tatmadaw from Myanmar’s economy entails two parallel approaches. In addition to isolating the Tatmadaw financially, we have to promote economic ties with non-Tatmadaw companies and businesses in Myanmar. This will foster the continued liberalization and growth of Myanmar’s economy, including its natural resource sector, but in a manner that contributes to accountability, equity and transparency for its population.”

The Fact-Finding Mission will present its final report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

 

The full report on the economic interests of the Myanmar military, its annexes, supporting materials and summary translations in Myanmar language, Jingpho (forthcoming) and Rohingya can be accessed at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/MyanmarFFM/Pages/EconomicInterestsMyanmarMilitary.aspx

ENDS

The Human Rights Council on 24 March 2017 decided (through Resolution A/HRC/RES/34/22) to dispatch urgently an independent international fact-finding mission, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State, including but not limited to arbitrary detention, torture and inhuman treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, enforced disappearances, forced displacement and unlawful destruction of property, with a view to ensuring full accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims.

The Experts: 

Marzuki Darusman, lawyer and human rights campaigner and former Attorney-General of Indonesia, is chair of the fact-finding mission. The other two members of the fact-finding mission are Radhika Coomaraswamy, a lawyer and former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict; and Christopher Sidoti, an international human rights lawyer and former Australian Human Rights Commissioner.

 

Website of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/MyanmarFFM/Pages/Index.aspx

 

For more information and media requests, please contact: Todd Pitman in Jakarta/Bangkok (Mobile: +66 63 216 9080 /todd.pitman@un.org), or Rolando Gómez in Geneva (Tel: +41 22 917 4411 or +41 79 477 4411 / rgomez@ohchr.org).

KWO Staff Faces Challenges in the Field

The working conditions for staff at KWO are not always easy, especially when going into the field to provide training, organizing trips, or monitoring our projects in the camps and in Karen State. Rarely everything goes exactly as planned, and many times our staff is faced with new problems and challenges. Despite the challenges and problems faced it doesn’t stop us from continuing our work. The photos below display some of the hurdles KWO staff go through when working in the field. Though times may be tough, KWO staff overcome and continue their work because they love Karen women, the Karen community, and their country.

 

Message from KWO on Stop Violence Against Women Day

Today is a very important day for all women all over the world. November 25th is the day when all people in the world should give their time to recognize and honor all the women who have suffered from violence and at the same time, make a commitment to stop the violence.

Please see our message:

English

KWO Message Stop Violence Against Women day-English Version-1KWO Message Stop Violence Against Women day English Version-1

Karen:

KWO Message Stop Violence Against Women day -karen version-1KWO Message Stop Violence Against Women day - Karen Version 2-1

Burmese

KWO Message Stop Violence Against Women day Burmese Version-1KWO Message Stop Violence Against Women day Burmese Version-1

KWO Special Education Project TOT Training

For the 2018-19-project period, KWO Special Education Project conducted TOT training in four places: Mae La and Ma Ra Moe, Bang Dong Yang, and Htam Him. Every year there are new teachers who need to be trained.

From 9 to 18 May 2018, we conducted training for participants from three camps; Mae La, Umpiem and Nu poe camp in Mae La Camp. There were 24 participants. They were field coordinators, school directors, trainers, and teachers.

From 24 May to 2 June 2018, the training took place in Mae Ra Moe. There were 18 participants.

From 4 to 12 June 2018, the training took place in Bang Dong Yang and Tham Him. For Bang Dong Yang and Htam Him, the trainers separated themselves and provided training for the school director and all teachers in two sites.

The training topics included:

  • Review of Individual Education Plans
  • The daily program training and (4) months per one time we put the goal of each child
  • Review of children with disabilities (meaning and how to work with them)
  • The management project
  • The children meeting program
  • The review back project activities tables
  • Accounting

The trainings were provided by Naw Eh Shee, NawHsaLer Paw, Naw Stone Paw, NawHtee Moo SheendNaw Paw PlaWah.

The strengths of this training

  • All of the teachers in the training were very happy, worked in the small groups together and shared their experiences on what they had done.

  • The participants were interested in the training and showed this by asking questions when they did not understand.
  • The teachers had improved and developed their writing teaching plan for each day, and trusted each other in their work because of the frequency of the training
  • For new teachers who had the training for the first time, they were able to use this knowledge in their project activities to advance the learning of their students
  • The topic was new and useful for learning about special education. The training will help the teachers to understand how the they can work better and support their students
  • Beneficial for teachers to give confidence for their students.
  • The training provided different ways to understand different types of children and learning styles – and how they can adapt their teaching styles to benefit each student appropriately

Early Childhood Development Education (TOT) Training

 

In May 2018, the KWO Early Childhood Development Education project conducted TOT for project senior staff, field coordinators, trainers, head teachers and teachers. This TOT training had not been organized since 2014.

In May we conducted this training in Mae Ra Moe camp. The training lasted 21 days starting on 7th May 2018 and finished on 2 June 2018. The people who participated the training included 34 representatives from Mae Ra Moe and 20 from Mae La Oo camps. They were senior field coordinators, head trainers, school directors, teachers, and field coordinators from Mae La Oo, CBT, Early Childhood Development Education, Project Coordinator, Early Childhood Development Education Project Assistant and Karen State Early Childhood Development Education Project Coordinator and Karen State Early Childhood Development Education Project Assistant. All of the participants were women.

This training was given by:

  1. Thara Mu Moo Ra Say- Field Head Teacher Trainer
  2. Thara Mu La Lay Paw- Head Senior Field Coordinator  
  3. Thara Mu Kae Lai Byew-Supervision
  4. Thara Mu Stone Paw-Accountant
  5. Thara Mu Htee Moo Shee-Accountants

The training topics:

  1. The growth of child.
  2. Child Rights.
  3. Teacher quality.
  4. Two question types.
  5. Good teacher stories.
  6. Time management programs.
  7. Teaching programs.
  8. Management programs.
  9. Hygiene and cleaning.
  10. Nutrition Food.
  11. Smart Objectives.
  12. Five important questions can ask yourself when you work with your organization.
  13. Teaching framework has (5) elements.
  14. The situation of the environment.
  15. Child protection has (5) aspects.
  16. Words used in objective writing.
  17. Training plan.
  18. Child protection (or) child rights.
  19. Role of trainers.
  20. The growth of children has (4) types.
  21. Human needs.
  22. Child psychology.
  23. Action plan.
  24. Teaching program and review of the curriculum.

This training included new topics that were beneficial to the trainees attending. The participants shared that their knowledge increased and had a greater understanding of the topics introduced. Some of the trainers from Mae La Oo camps were new so they had less to share because of a lack of experience background. Another challenge was that trainings held in the daytime saw fewer participants because attendees were taking care of their families.

Refugee Activists Discuss Pressure to Return from Thai-Myanmar Border at Chiang Mai Seminar

At a public seminar in Thailand last week, Karen and Karenni officials raised concerns about the increasing pressure for refugees to return from the Thai-Myanmar border as international funding for camps dries up.

“The refugees from the Thai-Myanmar border are not ready to return home,” said Naw Elizabeth, deputy director of the Karenni Education Department, who took part in the September 13 seminar at Chiang Mai University.

“We discussed the need for international donors to continue their support as the refugees’ continue to have basic unmet needs [like] education and health,” she added.

The public event, called “Syria to Myanmar: Who are Refugees?” was organized by the US Embassy in Thailand and Chiang Mai University. About 100 people attended, included members of refugee and internally displaced persons assistance groups like the Border Consortium, the Karen Refugee Committee, the Karenni Education Department and the Shan Women’s Action Network.

Over 100,000 refugees live in nine refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border while over 3,000 Karen IDPs remain at the Ei Tu Hta temporary shelter and over 6,000 Shan IDPs are residing in camps along the Thai-Shan border, according to refugee activists. They added that after the Myanmar government and ethnic armed organizations signed ceasefire agreements and started implementing the peace process beginning in 2011, pressure has escalated for refugees and IDPs to return to their homes. While international aid organizations, swamped with other, fresher crises, are forced to dedicate resources elsewhere, the Myanmar refugees say their needs are increasingly going unmet, while lack of livelihoods in their original villages, and in some cases the threat of landmines and fresh conflict, prevents an easy return.

“The international community does not know the real situation of our refugees. I’m glad to have the chance to explain how the issues occurring at the Karen refugee camps are directly related to Myanmar politics,” said Saw Hay Soe Thar Ko, an education officer with the Karen Refugee Committee.

According to participants, a foreign student also discussed the ongoing crisis in Rakhine State at the seminar. Over 400,000 Muslim residents have fled over the border to Bangladesh in the past month, while 30,000 Buddhist and Hindu villagers have been internally displaced by fighting between an insurgent group and the Tatmadaw.

  • Written by Saw Shar/ KIC News

The original article can be viewed via BNI at:

http://www.bnionline.net/news/karen-state/item/3497-refugee-activists-discuss-pressure-to-return-from-thai-myanmar-border-at-chiang-mai-seminar.html