Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment (Thailand)
The oppressive military regime in Burma has wrecked havoc on the country for decades, and forced many to flee to neighboring Thailand for safety. The Burmese army has particularly targeted the Karen and Karenni minority ethnic groups because of their struggle for regional autonomy. Today, there are some 148,000 refugees in nine camps along the Thai-Burma border, facing constant struggles to keep their families fed and healthy, and to educate their children.
The woman in the photo is Nweh Wah who has been weaving for 14 years already. She has four children, three boys and one girl.
In the camps, women refugees, many of whom have suffered sexual violence at the hands of Burmese soldiers, face the incredibly difficult task of providing for both themselves and their families inside the camps, with little opportunity to earn an income. WEAVE collaborates with local and international groups to implement programs that addresses health and women’s issues in the camps, and creates opportunities for women to make and sell crafts. By promoting crafts production, WEAVE provides women a sense of security as well as a means of connecting to their heritage.