KWO Chair Person Speech on 34th Anniversary in Karen Version

Please download the full message here;

KWO Chair Person Speech on 34th Anniversary of KWO

On 5th of April 2019, KWO will mark the 34th Anniversary of KWO establishing. KWO would like to thanks all our donors, funders and all supporters for standing with KWO in promoting human rights, women’s rights, Child right, Gender equality, Justice and feminism. We also would like to thank Karen Community and local leaders from villages, camps, township, districts to central level for all the support they gave to KWO and without them, it will be very difficult for KWO to keep doing what we are doing. We also would like to thanks overseas Karen community and all Karen CBOs that working together with us to provide support for our community.

 

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Urgent Appeal Letter For Funding for KWO’s Early Childhood and Special Education Lunch Program

As of April 2019, KWO will no longer receive support for the lunch programme provided through our Early Childhood Education project and Special Education project.
KWO does not want to cut the lunch programme. Now more than ever, the vulnerable in the camps, need our support.
Our project promote Inclusive Education, conducts play sessions and home visits and supports the families of the disabled, including very young children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are especially vulnerable to malnutrition. Currently, 320 children with disabilities benefit from these daily lunches. While our Early Childhood Education project, provides 1,792 Nursery Children from 2 to 5 years old with a daily nutritious meal. We have similar concerns about the health and development of all children.”

KWO Statement on International Women’s Day 2019

KWO Statement on International Women 2019 Burmese VersioThe Karen Women Organization (KWO) welcomes another International Women’s Day. Our themes for this year is “Courage to Speak, Ending Impunity Now”. 

This year marks the 108th year of International Women’s Day. It is extremely important that we look back to celebrate the progress and achievements of women all over the world. It is equally important we commit to continuing the fight for what we believe, overcoming all the challenges we face.

We have come so far. Sadly, we still have a long road to travel but not an impassable one.

Click below to download full statement in English:

KWO Statement on International Women’s Day 2019 English Version Final

Click below to download full statement in Karen:

KWO Statement on International Women’s Day 2019 Karen Version

Click below to download full statement in Burmese:

KWO Statement on International Women 2019 Burmese Version

Karen Women’s Organization Receives International Women of Courage Award

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Karen Women’s Organization

International Women of Courage Award

March 6, 2019

Naw K’nyaw Paw and the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) are honored this year to accept the “International Women of Courage Award” from the US State Department.  Naw K’nyaw Paw is accepting the award in Washington DC on behalf of the KWO. We were given this award for our “position for consistently condemning the Burma army to end military violence against civilians, for speaking out about the military violence against the Rohingya, and speaking out against SGBV in conflict”. KWO gives consistent support for all ethnic women. We work with community women on a wide variety of issues and support including childcare, leadership development, advocacy, health care and education.  KWO works to support women throughout their lives.

The Burmese military violence continues today, increasing in some areas on northern Burma, in the west and beginning again in the south east.  Women and children continue to be forced to run and hide from Burmese Army attacks as we write.

In 2004, KWO released a report “Shattering Silences”, highlighting the Burmese Army’s sexual abuse to Karen women.  Later KWO released “State of Terror” and later still “Walking Amongst Sharp Knives” all documenting abuse of Karen Women by the Burmese Army.  Then last year the world watched in horror as the Burmese Army unleashed unspeakable crimes, this time against Rohingya women.  Thousands of rapes have been well documented across one ethnic population after another and still these men run the Government and control the lives of our people.  It is time for the world to take action and bring these men to justice.

All indigenous ethnic women are either vulnerable to attack or are currently being attacked by the Burmese Army.  It will not end until the world takes action as a united community against these extreme human rights violations and hold those Generals in charge fully accountable. The peace process has stalled, the removal of sanctions has not brought us greater respect for human rights, it is still unsafe to return, or to speak the truth in our country.  We need targeted sanctions and a body outside Burma to hold the Generals accountable.

While we work for peace we hope the world will not forget the refugees the world over.  For us rations and services have been deeply cut.  Refugees and Internally Displace People in Burma need food, healthcare and education to live.  Please remember those in need as we accept the honors we also hope for resources and assistance for our community.

KWO is accepting this International Women of Courage Award along with 10 amazing women from across the globe who are also being honored.

We have many courageous women in Burma but when we see this group on honorees, we realize just how much we can accomplish when we are not afraid and we work together.  KWO’s fellow recipients fight for and serve the neediest across the globe.  Olivera Lakic writes the truth in Montenegro despite threats and attacks. Moumina Houssein Darar brings the rule of law to Djibouti. Magda Gobran Gorgy educates the poorest in Egypt, Colonel al-Twal helps people like me in her own country of Jordan, Marini de Livera brings the rule of law to women and children in Sri Lanka, Anna Aloys Henga defends human rights in Tanzania, Flor de Maria Vega Zapata works to protect the environment in Peru, Razia Sultana brings her legal knowledge to documenting the violence done against the Rohingya, Sister Orla Treacy educates and supports girls in Sudan and Marini help protect women and children in Sri Lanka.  This group touches every part of our lives, all over the world.  KWO is humbled by their work and honored to stand beside them.

Contact: kwocentral@gmail.com

KWO Statement in Support of the Karenni Students’ Protest Against Burmanization

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Karen Women’s Organization

Statement in Support of the Karenni Students’ Protest Against Burmanization

12th February 2019

The Karen Women’s Organization calls on the NLD Government and the Burmese military-run police to show respect both for indigenous history and for peaceful protest.  We believe that before we can have true peace in our beloved land we must have mutual respect for our differences and for those things that hold us together.

The Karenni youth have taken a courageous stand against the placement of General Aung San’s statue in the Karenni capital, Loikaw.  We as fellow indigenous women understand that Burmese ethnic people hold the General as a hero of their people and the father of their independence.  This is not how the indigenous people of Burma view him.  He was a General in the Burmese Army.  The same Army that attacks civilians, uses rape as a weapon of war and burns villages.  The same Army that has forced millions to flee our homeland over the past 70 years.  The same Army that causes many of our people to live in poverty and in refugee camps.

We have our own heroes who we would like to see in bronze in the center of our towns.  We have been prohibited from honoring them in this way.  We cannot have a country that continues to hold one ethnic group above all others, only honoring their history while suppressing ours.  We need to respect each other every day.  The Karenni youth have shown how divisive the aggressive actions of the NLD government and military are.   They are not the first to object to honoring General Aung San in ethnic areas within Burma.  There was the protest against naming a bridge in honor of the General.  There have been objections raised to put up statues in other areas. It is time for the Burmanization of our country to end.  We have many indigenous groups who have a right to a voice and have heroes worth honoring. We want peace to move forward not provocation by those who want to hold us back or make us disappear.

We call on the police to stop interfering with violence against peaceful protest.  There have been 55 youth and students arrested and charged in the past 8 months for speaking their truth.  They should be granted this basic right of assembly and protest.  They face the prospect of long sentences and large fines.  All charges should be dropped immediately.

We call on the NLD to listen to the local voices and remove the statues of General Aung San from ethnic areas.  The NLD and the Burmese Military should act in the spirit of the Panglong Agreement General Aung San entered into.  It promised autonomy for ethnic people in a federal democracy.  The best way to honor him today is to grant those rights to the indigenous people of Burma. It is time to recognize the strength in our diversity and the wonderful country that diversity could build if we treated each other with basic human dignity.

We want peace to move forward.  These actions would be an olive branch to the indigenous people of Burma.

For more information please contact the Karen Women’s Organization at: kwocentral@gmail.com

Uncertain Future!

From Karen Women’s Organization and Karen News

The IDPs return home with dignity and safety? “We do not dare to go back because of the landmines that are planted in the fields where we make our living. If we go back, we could lose our limbs at any moment.” Currently, the Burma Army’s operations in Mutraw District violates the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and has recently displaced more than 2,000 villagers from their homes. These displaced villagers, feel unsafe, have received threats, concerns and repression to return to their abandoned villages. They feel there is no guarantee for their safety and security and many political problems are unresolved. The displaced Karen people in Ei Tu Hta IDP camp are now facing a massive humanitarian crisis.

Please watch this video produced by KWO and Karen News about the current crisis

Uncertain Future!

KWO Supporting the Kachin Communities Worldwide Urgent Demand of the United Nations Security Council to Refer Burma to the International Criminal Court

Please click here to download the statement, English Version:

KWO Statement on Supporting the Kachin Communities Worldwide Demands to UN English Version, 2018

Please click here to download the statement, Karen Version:

KWO Statement on Supporting the Kachin Communities Worldwide Demands to UN Karen Version, 2018

SAW O MOO: Defender of Indigenous Karen Territories, the Environment and Way of Life

KWO sends our heartfelt condolences to the remaining members of Saw O Moo’s family in this very sad time after he was killed by Burma Army soldiers last month.
In his honor, we want to share his life story and achievements with our friends and colleagues all over the world. That we may learn from him and his desire to see real peace in our land.
We feel enormous gratitude to him for his work as a defender of Human Rights and Indigenous Rights, and as a protector of the environment and the Karen way of life.
Saw O Moo, you are not with us anymore but your work will be in our hearts forever. You will be always remembered as a Karen indigenous rights defender and we offer hope that your soul may rest in peace. We make a promise to you to carry on your work in defense of our lands, our identity, and our freedom.
Karen Women’s Organisation

The Nightmare Returns: Karen Hopes for Peace and Stability Dashed by Burma Army’s Actions

On March 4th, the Burma Army began the largest and most coordinated deployment of troops into Karen State’s Mutraw (Hpapun) district since 2008, breaching the terms of the NCA and provoking multiple clashes with the Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA) 5th Brigade. Burma Army soldiers have indiscriminately targeted civilians while more than 2,400 villagers have been forced to flee their land and homes. The majority of those displaced by the Burma Army’s current operations had only recently returned to rebuild their villages, farms, and livelihoods following decades attacks by the Burma Army and displacement in the area.

The KNU and Burma Army are both signatories to the 2015 NCA, which prohibits the expansion of military infrastructure and troop reinforcements in ceasefire areas. However, since March 4th, at least eight Burma Army battalions have entered Luthaw, without the required prior agreement  from the KNLA, and begun constructing a military operations road to connect their military bases. If the road is built, Indigenous Karen villagers may be permanently displaced from their homes and ancestral village territories.

KPSN Media Release The Nightmare Returns

The Nightmare Returns – English version