Baby Kits for IDP Mothers / Nutritional Support for Elderly IDPs

$18,479 of $18,479 raised

2010-11-01 ~ 2011-10-30
Agency: Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO)

This project has two aims, the first being to improve the health and hygiene of Karen refugee mothers and babies, providing 300 basic baby hygiene kits to new mothers in Ee Htu Hta camp, Burma/Thai border, as well as providing basic education information about maternal and newborn health.

Living conditions in the camps create many challenges for a mother to keep herself and her baby clean, dry and well-clothed. It is very dusty, houses are small and made of bamboo with leaf roofing and the rainy season lasts at least 6 months, making washing and drying enough nappies, blankets and clothes needed, extremely difficult. When a new baby is born, women and their families need more soap than usual, nappies to change, extra charcoal to dry clothes/nappies and many more items. In order to cover these many women and/or their husbands and other family members are forced to look for sources of income outside the camps. This directly places them at greater risk of stepping on landmines and being caught by the Burmese military.

The project will address these issues by providing a Baby Kit to mothers within one week of delivering their baby, meeting these essential basic health and hygiene needs. Included in the Kit is basic health information for new mothers to increase their knowledge and awareness of how to maintain good health for themselves and their babies. Through distribution of the Kits, statistical information will gathered about birth attendant practices and demographic information to improve maternal health going forward.

The second aim of the project is to provide 165 elderly people, aged 70+, with essential, nutritious food and hygiene supplies to improve their health and well being. These items will be given once every two months and there will also be an elderly gathering and celebration of special events in year to foster and maintain the relationship between the elderly and young people in the community.

Older people are vulnerable within the community in Ee Htu Hta IDP camp. The camp is located in the Thai-Burma border area on the Burma side, which is not in close proximity to the other refugee camps. Therefore, the NGOs supports barely reach to benefit the people in Ee Htu Hta camp. As the camp is very restricted and surrounded by the military base, people always have to be alert and they are constantly living in fear. This is especially the case for elderly people.

Additional information

The Karen Women Organization (KWO) was formed in 1949 and currently has a membership of more than 49,000 women. KWO is a community-based organization of Karen women working in development and relief in the refugee camps on the Thai border and with IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) inside Burma. Since our formation in 1949 we have expanded our focus from one of purely social welfare to try to encourage an awareness of Women’s Rights and to promote women’s participation in the community decision making and political processes.

Case study

“KWO staff members at different levels are able to manage more work in the community through the experience they learned by implementing this project activity and increased their skills in management and negotiation within the community.” KWO team member