May E-Newsletter 2009

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Training at Mae La and Umphiem Mai Camps

Training was conducted in both Umphiem Mai and Mae La camps during April, as part of WEAVE’s Women’s Capacity Development Program.

Eleven women in Umphiem Mai camp took part in a week-long training course which taught beginners basic weaving skills and more experienced weavers how to weave new designs for existing and new WEAVE Income Generation Project products.

A one-day sewing workshop with a group of migrant women was also conducted in Mae Sot during April. Attendees learned production processes for a range of textile purses and the popular WEAVE utensil holder.

WEAVE field staff follow up with trainees after each training session to ensure that participants are able to continue practicing their new skills, by producing small numbers of products in a paid capacity.

Following successful participation in training and practice, trainees are offered the opportunity to undertake sewing, weaving and/or embroidery work with WEAVE as part of its Income Generation Project.

For further information about this project contact Dawa at: [email protected].    

Karenni Further Studies Program

WEAVE continues to work in partnership with refugee women and community based organizations to build their project management capacity. WEAVE’s partnership with the Karenni Further Studies Program (KnFSP), a 2 years post high-school education program led by a group of dynamic young Karenni leaders, was forged in 2008 in order to collectively respond to the educational needs of young girls in Karenni Camp2.

Recently, WEAVE facilitated a three day curriculum review and planning workshop to all KnFSP teaching staff and personnel, student representatives and concerned program administrative committee and technical advisory group members.

The workshop focused on:
– Developing KnFSP education framework by reviewing and assessing the relevance/appropriateness of the existing curriculum.
– Finalizing subjects to be taught for the 2009-10 school year.
– Planning for the development of appropriate teaching training preparation, teaching materials as well as student’s learning resources.

KSWDC and KnWO Program

WEAVE is currently working with the Karenni Social Welfare and Development Centre (KSWDC) and Karenni National Women’s Organization (KnWO) on a joint project aimed at attaining peace and improving the living standards of Karenni people.

On 16 and 17 March 2009, representatives from both organizations held a seminar to discuss the progress of their work, identify project gaps and challenges, and to consolidate their recommendations. The results of the seminar were presented to WEAVE at a meeting in Mae Hong Son, 23 March, where a framework was developed to further strengthen the existing project interventions, with a focus on child development and community development.  

Women’s Study Program Graduation

A ceremony at the Karenni National Women’s Organization compound in Karenni Camp 1 on 20 March celebrated the graduation of 20 women from the Women’s Study Program, a WEAVE-KNWO joint program for 3 years now.

The ten-month program includes studies focusing Women’s Issues and Development, Peace Education, and Community Development, which sees participants apply their knowledge and skills in the refugee community through community education outreach. Of the 20 program graduates, 18 are now doing internship with several community-based organizations in Karenni Refugee Camp 1.

Congratulations to all the graduates on their completion of the course.

The hard work and commitment of WSP teachers and personnel is noteworthy. Special thanks goes Sayama Khu Say, Sayama Kumo, Sayama December Paw, Sayama Lah Kaw Paw and LomYa.

For further information about the program, contact Nym, Women’s Education Program Officer, at: [email protected].

Early Childhood Development Program Update

WEAVE recently conducted an evaluation of its Burma Program, in collaboration with two of its partners, the Karenni National Women’s Organization (KnWO) and the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO). With special focus on assessing the impact of the Early Childhood Development Project, all groups were involved in the process of data collection from all three camps in the Mae Hong Son Province, the results of which will inform and influence WEAVE’s strategic direction and project planning.

WEAVE Attends 8th Annual Women’s Exchange

The 8th annual Women’s Exchange (WE) was held on March 5-9, 2009 at Holiday Garden Hotel, Chiang Mai. Its theme was anchored on: Our Economy: “Women in the Driving Seat”.

More than 100 women from various ethnic women organizations mostly, migrants from Burma, gathered together to tackle issues that affect their respective groups. They too suggested possible and workable solutions to alleviate their respective situations. Major topics included the following: Education for Migrants and Refugees in Thailand; Impact of Global Economic Crisis on Workers; and The Global Economic Crisis and Impact on Burma. It was highlighted by the active participation of all the attendees during the March 8 parade in commemoration of the Women’s International Day.

WEAVE was able to send 2 representatives to actively participate in the said annual gathering. These are Jovy Castro (WEAVE’s Program Officer for Office Operations) and Hsar Gay Paw (Intern from KnWO) from WEAVE’s Publication Department.

The gathering showed a successful rate of attendance from various women organizations as spearheaded by the Migrants Assistance Program  (MAP) organization in coordination with the Women’s League of Burma (WLB).

May E-Newsletter 2009