“Never Walk Alone” – Children’s Dormitory Matching Fund Apeal 2015-2016

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Dormitory Students at Work

“Never Walk Alone”

 Children’s Dormitory Matching Fund appeal 2015/16

A Unique Fundraising Opportunity for Karen Children and Young People in 2015

KWO has been offered a very unique matching fund opportunity by one of our dedicated donors and we are excited to share the news with our KWO friends, family and supporters. The matching fund from DAK Foundation is ring-fenced especially for our “Children and Young People Dormitory Project”. This means in simple terms that every donation from you will be doubled by DAK-F. A very positive start to 2015 already!

Your donation will go a long way to help dormitory students.  A donation of just $40 USD will buy a student soap, toothpaste, and other hygeine supplies for 6 months.  A donation of just $60 USD will buy 11 students warm clothing for the cold season here. Just follow this link to make a contribution.

What are the Children’s Dormitories?
KWO has been supporting children in dormitories for many years. We are currently responsible for 8 dormitories housing 292 students in five refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. The 8 dormitories with 14 buildings provide a safe and caring environment for separated children from Karen State (in Burma) who travel to study in the refugee camps.

Why Dormitories?
The project is quite unique to match the unique circumstances along the border during this transitional but still very uncertain time in Burma. There are good quality schools in the camps, where children and young people can be schooled in all subjects including Karen (their mother tongue), Burmese and English. The refugee camp schools offer a great opportunity for these children. Some children are housed by family members but many find themselves without shelter. KWO provides this shelter and in doing so offers these children an opportunity to access education at a very important time in the Karen community’s development.

The Matching Fund from DAK Foundation
KWO has been offered a total of $50,000USD for the 2015-16 Dormitory Project year as a Matching Grant from our donor DAK Foundation.

What does that mean?
This means that DAK-F will double every donation we receive from you. If you donate $20 USD for example then the foundation will add $20 and KWO will receive $40 for the Dormitory Project. $10 will become $20 and $100 will become $200. If we raise a total of $45,000 then DAK-F will make it $90,000 USD. This is a great opportunity and we would love you to join us!

Never Walk Alone – Matching Fund appeal – February and March 2015
We are determined to succeed in our challenge to raise the funds for this project. So we are starting off with a TARGET to raise $15,000 from you by 31st March 2015. Please join us in helping to make this appeal a great success. All donations will be welcome from $5 to $50 to $500.

YOUR SUPPORT and next steps:
We invite YOU to make a donation via our website for the Never Walk Alone appeal. Our aim is to raise $15,000 by 31st March 2015 from your donations and this will be doubled to $30,000. We will give you regular updates on our Karen Women Organization Facebook Page:

• KWO will share personal stories from children in the dormitories. Some of the children and young people have been interviewed and we will introduce you to them. You will learn more about their life and the importance of the dormitories this way.

• KWO will keep you updated on our fundraising progress as we inch towards $15,000. Our deadline for this total is 31st March 2015.

 

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KWO and Karen Quiet People celebrate International Deaf Day

In September 2014, KWO’s Special Education students, staff and families celebrated International Deaf Day. We worked together to raise awareness, to show our abilities and to educate our communities about living with deafness. These events took place in all seven camps.  Activities included action songs, dramas, role-plays and using Karen Deaf Sign Language to communicate with the audience.

The Special Education Students participated in competitions (songs, drawing photos, paper folding art, matching memory games, and writing games) with other organizations in the camps to build relationships. The SE Teachers took part in the activities with students, and conducted quizzes to challenge community knowledge about disability. Community leaders also gave speeches to the students, parents and community members.

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The Deaf students especially enjoyed the opportunity to teach community members how to use Karen Sign Language: words for fruit, days of the week, animals, and clothing were practiced by hundreds of people. This event was an opportunity for “the quiet people” to increase awareness about deafness.

KWO Nursery Schools Mid-School Year: Competition, Teacher Training, and General Education

KWO runs nursery schools in 2 refugee camps on Thailand and in partnership with more than 70 villages in Karen State.  This past week, October 2014, the Nursery Schools in Mae La Oon and Mae Ra Moe refugee camps held a competition about the story of Karen Culture.  Here are some pictures from the events in each camp

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The nursery schools also are continuing their normal curriculum for the year

KWO’s nursery schools in Karen State are also continuing to provide quality curriculum, nutrition, teacher training, and support for families, despite a severe shortfall in funding.  If you can help support these schools please donate using the donate button on this website in the upper left.

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KWO Begins Work on New Training Center in Karen State – By Women For Women

KWO is celebrating meeting our fundraising goal of $4600(USD) to build a new women’s training center in Karen State.  This is our first successful crowd funding effort.

Work on the new center has already begun. KWO staff and leaders made 1400 clay bricks which are now drying and awaiting the next phase of building.

This campaign is an exciting collaboration between 3 community organisations based in Thailand and working in SE Asia, Karen Women’s Organisation, Pun Pun Centre for Sustainable Development and the International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice  The aim is to build a training centre for Karen women from Burma. But the aim goes way beyond that since Karen women will be building their very own adobe building for their own training centre and at the same time learning the skills to go on to build with adobe in their own communities.

THANKS to everyone who contributed!

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2014-15 Special Education (SE) Project Activities

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For the 2014-15 project year, there are 420 students in 7 camps, 142 SE staff in camp and 11 SE town based staff members. So far in this project year, the SE project has done many activities.

In April 2014, for two weeks, the SE project coordinator attended a training at Khom Loy Development Foundation about basic Montessori. The project coordinator will take the skills and knowledge she gained from the trianing and give similar trainings to SE town based staff and SE teachers in camp. Continue reading

Become a volunteer English teacher with KWO!

The Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) is currently recruiting volunteer English teachers for the Karen Young Women’s Leadership School (KYWLS) in Mae Ra Moe camp and New Generation School, inside Karen State. If you are interested in learning more about these two volunteer opportunities, please contact Naw K’nyaw Paw, KWO Secretary, at kwocentral@gmail.com

KYWLS 2 KYWLS

2014-15 School Year has begun for 375 dormitory students!

The 2014-15 school year has begun and KWO’s 9 dormitories in 5 camps are up and running! For the 2014-15 school year, KWO has 375 students in the dormitory project. Here are some photos from Umphiem Mai and Mae La camps of the first day of school for dormitory students!

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Karen Sign Language (KSL) Volumes 1 to 7

The Karen Women’s Organization’s Special Education Project works to positively impact the lives of children with special needs and advocate on their behalf to achieve basic rights. One way KWO’s SE Project is working towards this goal is through the creation of the Karen Sign Language (KSL). There are currently 7 volumes of KSL. Volumes 1 -5 were produced by World Education. World Education then handed over the SE project to KWO in 2007. KWO has now produced volumes 6 and 7 of KSL through a collaborative effort of KWO SE project staff, former deaf students, SE teachers and trainers. All the volumes that KWO has produced include NEW signs. These words never had a sign in KSL before, so they could not be used in communication. Thanks to the hard work of KWO’s SE team, communication in Karen for those who are deaf has improved and diversified.
KWO SE staff, in town and in camps, will continue to create new signs and produce KSL videos in the future. We hope that these videos will be a helpful resource for the community (deaf and non-deaf) and aid in positively impacting the lives of the members of the Karen community who are deaf.

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Karen Sign Language KSL Vol 1

Karen Sign Language KSL Vol 2

Karen Sign Language KSL Vol 3

Karen Sign Language KSL Vol 4

Karen Sign Language KSL Vol 5

Karen Sign Language KSL Vol 6

Karen Sign Language KSL Vol 7

Month Long Special Education Training Wraps Up

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KWO wrapped up a full month of Special Education Training of Trainers.  The training involved 24 participants, including our special education trainers, school directors, and town staff.  People came from all 7 camps where we conduct this important project. A few senior staff from our Nursery School Project also attended since many of the topics covered can help that project as well. The training was conducted by KWO staff along with staff from World Education and the Christian Centre for Development of People with Disabilities.

Training topics that were covered included: Behavior management, Identifying different Disabilities in New Enrollments, Social Inclusion, Learning Disabilities, Assessment, Observation, Helping Children with Autism, Early Intervention, Stimulation for Very Young Children, Learning through Play, Toy Making, Organizing the Classroom, Learning Through Practice, Parenting Skills, Children’s Learning Processes, Child Psychology, Finance and Management, and the KWO Structure.

KWO’s Special Education Project has 4 main components:

  • Early Intervention with young children with disabilities (home visits and at SE Centres)
  • Inclusive Education (in mainstream school, SE Centres and home visits)
  • School for students with hearing impairments
  • School for students with visual impairments