Support to EarthRights International Alumni Projects (2010)
Refugee Empowerment International has funded EarthRights International alumni small projects with great success for a number of years. EarthRights International founded the first EarthRights School (ERS) in Thailand in 1998 catering to refugees from Burma, teaching the skills necessary to actively participate in rebuilding their societies both outside and within Burma. The ERS Alumni programme was established to assist its graduates in pursuing opportunities to build a strong and independent base in preparation for return to Burma is the focus of this funding support request.
Trafficking Awareness Workshops sponsored by Ta’ang Students and Youth Organisation
This project will improve the knowledge of the local people in Northern Shan State about the impact of trafficking and smuggling in Palaung areas. Five workshops will be held between December and February in Muse and Namkham Townships on the China-Burma border, Northern Shan State. Each workshop will last 4 hours and 10 participants (youth, women and local villagers) will be invited every time. The workshops will give the participants information about women’s rights, trafficking situation in the China-Burma border, its impacts and how to help preventing this from happening.
The workshops successfully reached 50 people (30 females and 20 males) in the Ta`ang area on the China-Burma border. The Team Project Assistant Coordinator held 3 projects in Muse Township. A total of 30 people attended these three workshops in February and March. Two other projects for 10 people each took place. One of these included some families who had sold their daughters to Chinese men to be trafficked. The community were educated for the purpose of discouraging further trafficking.
Basic Environment Training sponsored by Shan Youth Power
This project will help the Shan refugee workers in construction areas in Sankhan Phaeng who live in very poor conditions and lack knowledge about how to protect the environment in which they live. Their homes are surrounded by rubbish that they will later burn, causing environmental and health problems. The proposed training will encourage young Shan refugees between 13 and 20 years old to take care of the area in which they live. 20 participants will attend this training which will be held for 2 days during 4 months.
22 young refugees were successfully trained on waste reduction and reuse as well as how what they do effects the environment. The location was changed to Pong Yain due to some migrants moving to different areas for work and others being busy sorting out visa issues. Despite this, the desired numbers of people were reached and they ended the program with greater environmental awareness and respect for the environment. Further steps include making a documentary to reach an even wider audience.