Women for Freedom

by We women foundation
Women for Freedom
Women for Freedom
Women for Freedom
Women for Freedom
Women for Freedom
Women for Freedom

A year of dictatorship, a year of repression, a year of abuse……

Since the 1st of February 2021 Myanmar turned again in a military dictatorship, the army took over government control and has suppressed and abused their people ever since. Myanmar has a long history of dictatorship, as the military always has a very firm base of supporters. When its top rulers decide it is time to take charge again, as they want to gain more power and wealth, they turnover whatever is needed and don’t hesitate to push everything and everyone aside that or whom stands in their way. “Under the leadership of Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the military has launched airstrikes on villages and internally displaced people’s camps and carried out brutal sexual and gender-based attacks on women and girls across the country.”(The World Has Failed to Stand With Myanmar, By Wai Wai Nu in the FP: https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/02/01/myanmar-coup-military-anniversary-rohingya-violence-protests-un-security-council/)

The history also repeats its violence against women and girls. Women stand alongside with men to fight for their freedom. They are out on the streets, they keep others motivated to carry on the resistance, they give trauma support. These are the women whom we keep on supporting, no matter how long the coup takes, we keep on standing with them. Many have already been arrested and are being (sexually) abused and harassed in jail getting sentences without trial.

The urgency of their work and the urgency for support is not dwindling, but as the coup goes on, it has been more difficult to find more donors to get the work done. We women is a small grassroots organisation, we are working at the moment only on a voluntary basis, as we have no other resources to fall back on. Our network inside Myanmar however keeps being strong and keeps up their resistance. So we keep doing whatever we can to support this brave women in the field.

One woman whom We women has supported was taken by the military in September 2021. Win (not her real name) had been personally demonstrating against the coup since February 2021 and in addition had been lobbying other women to get involved in civil disobedience activities. Win has been integral in organising help for other activists and has been arranging counselling for those traumatised by recent events. She also played a role in disseminating donations throughout the community for We women. Win has now been captured by the military. These disappearances are designed to instil fear in these brave women, however the courage of these women and the determination to not give up on their dream of democracy is strong.

So the others keep going, they feel the urgency and the importance of their work and also will keep on fighting for their captured peers and all people whom are suppressed by the regime.

From abroad we keep on sending our strong women messages and online meditations to encourage them and to support them to calm their minds and to find some solace in the turmoil that they are facing every day.

We are thankful for everyone who has been supporting us the past year and we can’t tell you enough how important your continuity is to our women. Warm regards Ursula and the We women team

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Dear friends,

Due to safety concerns and limited possibilities to get money into Myanmar, we can not help more than 20 women per month. We can’t tell any personal stories, as this will endanger the women in the field, even with fake names, their stories might be too familiar. Therefore we are very careful with what stories we bring to the outside world. Let me try to give you some overview:

For the past decade, We women offered the most promising women from Myanmar training and academic scholarships aiming for them to reach positions of leadership in their communities. Our alumni have been involved in the national peace talks, work for national NGO’s and civil society organisations, and conduct research contributing towards policy writing in a number of fields (healthcare, education, entrepreneurship). Unfortunately, all that work has now been interrupted. Many of the powerful women shifted their focus to fighting against the coup. 

After the coup a Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) emerged. Civil servants and other working class individuals refused to continue working for the illegitimate military government or companies belonging to their cronies. Many of them joined the street protests or continued working in the informal sector. After the regime started a very violent and deadly crackdown, the protests have dwindled down and people who joined the CDM are being actively hunted down. Long lists of people that are wanted for arrest are made public and many have gone into hiding. In a country with a huge number of spies, hiding is not easy. Activists are forced to move on a regular basis. Obviously, due to the state of the Myanmar economy and Covid-19 measures, securing a stable income is impossible. We women strives to help as much as we can as a small grassroots organisation.

We have build up a network over the years that we can now rely on to ensure that what is needed goes to the right places. The number of beneficiaries changes constantly, because people get arrested, are forced to relocate for safety reasons or just disappear for no apparent reason.

The women that we support throughout this revolution are suffering enormous amounts of stress. Both people in-country and from abroad are in regular contact with a number of women to offer emotional and psychological support. Thanks so much for you continues support, the women need it and we know that without your help we could not do any of the work we are doing now!

Many hugs from the We women team and all the women on the ground!

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Donations being received inside Myanmar
Donations being received inside Myanmar

Dear all,

Just a short note to tell you that we are so grateful for your support. Since we started the campaign we have been able to send donations of around €900 twice a month to Thailand. From Thailand it has been distributed in small amount to people inside Myanmar. You have been supporting Generation-Z activists, high school teachers and other CDM supporters and student activists. People are so thankful for the support they get, they can pay the rent for another month and get food and transportation to the places where they can demonstrate. They don't need to be afraid that they are registered somewhere if they get the donation, because we send them to people whom we know in our network and who don't keep records on the ground in Myanmar. Many stories got out of how people who assisted others had lists of names and where caught with these lists and then they also got arrested. It is getting so hard for the people out there to keep on protesting and it is exhausting. Can you imagine being on the streets for three months and fearing for your and your loves ones lives on a daily basis. As we know that this is so stressful we are also assisting with trauma support and stress release. On a weekly basis we send out a meditation/mindfulness audios that people when they have internet can download and then they can listen to it at night. We are also connecting with other people in ethnic field who are working on trauma support, to see if we can help out in any way. Other then that we are trying to raise as much awareness as we can and we are doing some lobby activities, where we write letters to the dutch government and co-sign many call for actions to the UN, EU and ASEAN. 

If any one wants to help through volunteering:  we need people who can fundraise or people who know about trauma support in circumstances like this. 
If you want to get the weekly meditations, so you can share them with your Myanmar friends around the globe: you can either go to our Facebook Page every Friday afternoon a new audiofile appears: https://www.facebook.com/Wewomenfoundation  or email me: ursula@wewomenfoundation.org

Thanks everyone for your most generous support, we will keep sending the donations to our network in the field, so if you know anyone who wants to donate, please send them to our Pifworld page (for the Netherlands) https://www.pifworld.com/nl/projects/AU97Gh1AXnY/women-for-freedom/ or keep on donating through our GlobalGiving page (International Donations).

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Organization Information

We women foundation

Location: Yangon - Myanmar
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @We women foundation (@wewomenfound)
Project Leader:
We women foundation
De Bilt, Netherlands
$1,490 raised of $2,500 goal
 
39 donations
$1,010 to go
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