Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits

by Refugee Empowerment International
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Give Hope to Mothers in Myanmar with Baby Kits
Transporting hygiene kits
Transporting hygiene kits

Displacement in Karen state, Myanmar continues with 200,000 people displaced from their homes in the last three months. They are sheltering in 100 displacement areas around Karen state.

This makes it difficult for assistance to reach each area.

Volunteers and community workers are managing to move hygiene boxes across the border from Thailand to reach those displaced nearby. Only a few can reach the more distant displacement areas.

This is positive and it means that some new mothers are receiving support and health guidance.

While they are unable to visit the displaced communities, the health community workers are taking the opportunity for team building and preparing for return to full action. This training is strengthening their knowledge of maternal care and preparing materials to take to the new mothers.

As we see in this project, the best way to provide assistance to the displaced is through local community groups. They know the area and have good contacts in the villages.

We thank you for your continuing support to this project that will build stronger communities able to resist abuses such as we have seen recently.

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Distant communities
Distant communities

The displaced communities in Karen state Myanmar continue to show amazing resilience in the light of ongoing uncertainty.

Conditions in many parts of the state are very dangerous and they change quickly. Nonetheless local governance and civil society groups are still functioning.

There are systems in place and the communities, whether displaced or not, still keep going and manage as best they can.

Brave community workers have been able to reach displaced communities near the Thai-Myanmar border but the concern is for the more distant displaced (and newly displaced) communities.

The community workers have learnt that mothers who have received the health training are proudly sharing their knowledge with other new mothers and this knowledge ripples through in a limited way. Of course, delivering supplies is more challenging.

In many of the distant villages, local leaders have also benefited from previous health training and they are committed to sharing the information when they can.

It shows that empowering the communities is essential to achieving a level of sustainability even in these difficult conditions.
Thank you for joining us to give renewed support when the situation makes it possible.

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Transporting kits
Transporting kits

Community workers in the Women’s Health programme have been directing their attention to supporting those recently displaced as displacement continues in Karen state. In the last month thousands of people have been forced to flee the area around the new town of Law Law Kay in Myawaddy district of Karen state. It is estimated that by the end of December up to 10,000 people had been displaced.

Community workers have been able to distribute material assistance to 600 families. This includes tarpaulins for shelter, mats, blankets and hygiene packs with some medicines.

Covid is widespread in parts of Karen state but symptoms are generally mild with a few deaths reported. The situation in the refugee camps on the Thai border is a little better and all residents have been offered the vaccination for Covid. Up to 80% of adults are fully vaccinated in some camps.

The camps are still in lock-down so supplies are limited but basic programmes can continue.

The Thai authorities are taking great care and providing vaccination to anyone, regardless of whether they have ID documents. They have also provided vaccinations to some Myanmar residents in Karen state but access is challenging and there is widespread mistrust of the vaccination due to the provision of low quality drugs and vaccinations in Myanmar generally.

We continue to hear reports of mothers sharing what they learnt through previous health trainings as they realise how much healthier their children are now they understand how to care for them better. This highlights the longer term impact of the funding.

We thank you for your continued support.

Concern for the young
Concern for the young
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Unfortunately, the unrest in Karen state, Myanmar continues. Troop reinforcements arriving in the area are causing thousands of villagers to flee to the forest and they dare not return. 

Community leaders and staff in all districts and camps are still working, doing community organizing, home visits andcare for most vulnerable. They engage with local partners to develop capacity and provide psychosocial support as best they can. Access is made more difficult because of the rainy season and the spread of COVID.

The rainy season is creating difficulties for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) hiding in forests and there are increased health problems due to recentoutbreaks of malaria and flu in IDP areas. Karen community workers are addressing their health needs but have limited resources.

Community workers have been able to provide some women’s hygiene kits to IDPs and to some villagers who have returned from displacement.
Women and girls are experiencing increased challenges in accessing adequate sexual and reproductive health services due to the collapse of the health system, movement restrictions, and displacement. 685,000 women are currently pregnant in the country, and around 250 preventable maternal deaths could occur over the next month if women could not access emergency obstetric care. Your support to this program is certainly providing valuable as women who have benefited from the Baby Kit and Maternal Health program are able to share their knowledge and experience with others. This shows that the 'ripple' effect makes an impact. The mothers provide important psycho-social support to their peers in these tough times.

Thank you very much.

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Sharing temporary shelter
Sharing temporary shelter

This project is still on hold for the time being.

Unrest in Karen State, Myanmar, continues with over 7,000 villagers fleeing their homes and hiding near the Thailand Border in the last month. It is estimated that 3,000 people have escaped into Thailand but their status cannot be verified. Access to the displaced communities is difficult because of the threat of airstrikes and further aggravated by heavy rain.
Community workers face difficulty reaching the displaced and when they do, their priorities are to provide emergency supplies such as food, water, medical treatment.

Even before the latest displacement the conditions were difficult for new mothers as this quote from a beneficiary reminds us:

"In my home village there was no clinic, no health materials delivered from humanitarian organizations, and no way to get knowledge of health education. There was also no clinic to go to nearby or medications available to take for mother or baby. If something is wrong with our health or if we need to get treatment, we must go to another village that is two-days walk away."
This highlights the important role of the community workers who distribute the Baby kits and conduct the training workshops.

Another mother explains that they are inspired to share their learning with others “I am very happy that I joined the awareness raising session and I can share this information with other women so that it will help other babies. There are still stereotypes in our community, which will need constant health awareness raising to reduce this kind of wrong thinking.“

We will resume the Baby kit and Health training once the situation eases.

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Organization Information

Refugee Empowerment International

Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @REI_intl
Project Leader:
Jane Best
Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan
$11,290 raised of $20,000 goal
172 donations
$8,710 to go
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