New Graduates of Women’s Studies Program 2011

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Twenty new graduates in the Women’s Studies Program (WSP)celebrated their achievement in Karenni Site 1, Mae Hong Son on March 23.

This is the fifth batch of students to complete the program. The ceremony was attended by various community representatives, including the Camp Commander, Karenni leaders, supporters, community-based organizations and proud parents.

Speeches congratulating the students were made by representatives from the Thai authorities and Karenni community leaders, including Karen National Women’s Organization (KNOW). Site1 Camp Commander gave an inspirational speech to the students, noting that this special achievement will empower them in their futures.

This year’s graduating class representative thanked the WSP teachers, staff and the Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment (WEAVE) for the lessons to learn about women’s issues, peace education, community organizing and development and basic computer skills. She said that she will share and use the knowledge she gained to help her community.

The acquired new skills and knowledge will enable these graduates to pursue careers to support the delivery of services by refugee camp-based organizations such as the Legal Assistance Center, Women Community Centre, and Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO). Other graduates are pursuing teaching positions in the Karenni Education Department and other exciting job prospects.

This year’s batch marks 107 students who have been empowered by the 10-month program managed by WEAVE in cooperation with the KNWO since 2006. It focuses on building capacities of individual young women for future leadership roles. The program believes that empowering these women will strengthen the ability of local community organizations to effect long-term sustainable change.