By Mitos Urgel, Executive Director, WEAVE Foundation
On March 8, 2012, WEAVE Foundation celebrated women around the world for International Women’s Day. Together with our refugee community partners, simultaneous peace marches were held towards the bridges of Karenni Site 1, Karenni Site 2 in Mae Hong Son Province and in Umpiem Mai, Tak Province Thailand. Over 500 refugee women, young girls, children and men were part of this historic event. Standing at their respective bridges, they joined in solidarity with the rest women of the world in the “Join Us in the Bridge”, the world’s largest women’s rights solidarity campaign to build peace and hope for our future. As well as called for an end to violence against women in areas of conflict, for women to have equal right in decision making processes and for women to have equal access to livelihoods opportunities and fair and just employment/income.
We also honored two inspirational and highly committed Karenni refugee women leaders – Thramu Yumalay, our Nursery School Coordinator in Karenni Site2 for her 19 years of service and dedication to early learning and development of refugee children as well as to Saramoo Kumo, the Local Coordinator of the Women Study Program (WSP) in Karenni Site2 for her activism in advancing women’s rights, she was with WSP since 2005. Art competition and essay writing contests focusing on the “roles of women as bridge to peace and hope” were also held.
As part of this month’s activities, WEAVE Foundation’s collection of pictures showcasing nursery school-age children’s artworks and women refugees are displayed and available for viewing at the Karenni National Women’s Organization’s (KNWO) office in Karenni Site2, Ban Mae Surin, Thailand. The artwork display is part of the Foundation’s fundraising initiatives to support the nursery school program on the Thai-Burma border.
On the International Women’s Day, women around the world envisioned a peaceful world and better future and so are we. We believe that together we can. We invite you to join WEAVE Foundation in advancing the status and the development of refugee and displaced women and children!
(The video in this article was prepared by A Safe World for Women.)