KWO Campaign, Stop Domestic Violence Against Women and Children, 16 Days of Activism

On the 23rd of November, KWO members and leaders were excited to launch our 16 day International Days for the Elimination of Violence against Women Campaign.  The KWO campaign focus this year, is  “Stop Domestic Violence Against Women and Children”.  We will have activities in 7 Karen Refugees Camps and 7 districts in Karen State for members of our community to participate in.  Below are photos from the launch.

 

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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

KWO Three Year Report for 2014, 2015 and 2016

A selection of figures from some of our projects:

  • 6,087 children were supported through KWO Nursery schools in 2014; 5,939 in 2015 and 5,693 in 2016.
  • Nursery schools are in 6 districts of Karen State, 2 refugee camps in Thailand, and Ee Tu Hta IDP camp.
  • 11,194 Baby kits were distributed to women in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by KWO. These were distributed across the 7 districts of Karen State and in Ee Tu Hta IDP camp, Karen State.
  • 28 young women graduated from KWO’s KYWLS in 2014. 18 graduated in 2015. 26 graduated in 2016.
  • Every year KWO runs activities centering on the International Campaign 16 days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 all together 41, 022 men and women were engaged in these actions

Download the full three year report in English: KWO three year report (2014 – 2016)

Sponsor a teacher : For one dollar a day!

For one dollar a day Every child is entitled to an education and to live as full a life as possible. Refugee children with, or without, disabilities deserve the same. Indigenous Karen people from Burma have lived as refugees in camps in Thailand for a long time. We formed the Karen Women’s Organization to strengthen and serve our community. There were no Special Education services in our homeland, nor in the refugee camps. Children with disability were at home, often sitting in a dark corner, and their parents had no support. So we organized ourselves and built a project to provide services and support to children with special needs. We trained refugee women to work with our disabled children and to support parents. We raised money. And we have changed lives. Tragically, our financial support has been severely reduced as other refugee crises have pulled resources.

Special Education Project Updates 2016-2017

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, individual sponsors and support from the community, KWO was able to continue the Special Education Project successfully throughout the 2016-17 school year. We thank you for your encouragement and assistance. We are looking forward to the new year and hope you all stay with us!

 

ကြ်ႏ္ုပ္တို႕ကို ပစ္မထားပါႏွင့္ / Do not abandon us (Burmese Subtitle)

Published on Jun 20, 2017
ဇြန္လ ၂ဝ ရက္၊ ၂ဝ၁၇ ခုႏွစ္တြင္က်ေရာက္ေသာ ကမာၻ႕ဒုကၡသည္မ်ားေန႕ကို ေလးစားဂုဏ္ျပဳလ်က္ ကရင္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးအေထာက္အကူျပဳကြန္ရက္ (KPSN) ကလူသားခ်င္းစာနာေထာက္ပံ့မႈအေထာက္အပံ့ေလွ်ာ့ခ်မႈကိုႀကံဳေတြ႕ရၿပီး လံုၿခံဳမႈမရွိေသးသည့္ မိမိေနရပ္ဌာေနသို႕ ျပန္ရန္တြန္းအားေပးခံေနရသည့္ဒုကၡသည္မ်ား၏လက္ရွိအခက္အခဲကို ဤရုပ္သံမွတ္တမ္းတိုတြင္ တင္ျပထားသည္။

ကရင္ဒုကၡသည္စခန္းႏွစ္ခုျဖစ္သည့္ မယ္လအူးႏွင့္မယ္ရာမလြန္ဒုကၡသည္စခန္းမ်ားအတြင္း၌ရိုက္ကူးေမးျမန္းမႈမ်ားကို ျပဳလုပ္ကာ ဤမွတ္တမ္းတိုေလးကို တင္ျပထားျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။

 

Do not Abandon us (English Subtitle)

Published on Jun 20, 2017

To commemorate the World Refugee Day on 20th June 2017, standing together with refugees, the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) would like to share the voices and concerns of Karen Refugees along the Thai -Burma border.

The video “Don’t abandon us” tells the story of refugees who are facing cuts in humanitarian aid while being encouraged to return before their homeland is secure. The video documentary was filmed in two Karen Refugee camps, Mae La Oon and Mae Ra Ma Luang.