Karenni Social Development Center
Building a new society for Karenni
October 2016 Newsletter
“The vision of the Social Development Center is to promote the lives of the people who have suffered human rights abuses, to teach non-violent skills to build up a new society, to develop the rule of law, to value human dignity and to protect the environment”
This month at SDC
by Principal Myar Reh

We have already reached the end of October, and it has been a busy month with many events and happenings. It's strange to think that we are halfway through our Basic Course and almost at the end of our Advanced Course - time passes so quickly. 

This month our Basic Course students have been completing fieldwork and internships at various community organisations in the camp and Nai Soi village. 28 students completed internships at organisations including Karenni National Women's Organisation, Kantarawaddy Times, and the Karenni National Progressive Party. There were seven groups of students doing fieldwork on topics including repatriation, domestic violence, the elderly, deforestation, the judicial system, healthcare, ration reductions, and the current situation of education in Karenni Camp #1. 

The students published their reports and presented their findings and experiences to the classmates. The best reports will be translated into English and shared on our website, so that those who are interested can learn more about our community's life.

Our Advanced Course students have also been busy making movies and running community campaigns about protecting the environment. They also attended an Essay Reading event run by the Karenni Youth Empowerment Programme and were inspired by the presentations on improving healthcare, education and environmental protection in the camp and Karenni State. 

In addition to the above, we celebrated World Teachers' Day on 5th October, and our Shan students celebrated the Full Moon festival in the middle of the month. 

We were also very grateful to receive a donation of several e-readers and solar powered chargers from one of our supporters. They will be a great help, especially in the camp where there is no electricity, and in Nai Soi during the rainy season when there are frequent power cuts! 

In the coming month our Advanced Course students will be working very hard, revising for exams and making plans for the future. We wish them all the best with this. 

We hope you enjoy this month's newsletter and we look forward to having more stories for you in November! 
We were very sad to hear about the passing of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had been very kind to Karenni refugees and offered us shelter when we fled from Karenni State. On 20th October around 2000 people in Ban Mai Nai Soi camp, together with the Thai authorities, gathered to light candles and offer Buddhist, Catholic and Baptist prayers to the King. We thank the King for his kindless to us and express our deepest condolences. 
Celebrating World Teachers' Day 
by Khu Lee Reh 

On 5th October 2016, SDC students, along with about 3500 others in Karenni Refugee Camp 1, celebrated World Teachers' Day. There are many students in the camp of all ages. There are four primary schools, four middle schools, one high school, and one college (KnNC).

All of the students from these schools, community leaders, members of the community, and representatives from NGOs, for example the Jesuit Refugee Service, attended the celebration. The Karenni leaders and JRS leaders gave motivational speeches to 250 teachers and presented them with certificates for their hard work. During the ceremony we sang the Karenni National Anthem and afterwards the teachers had a volleyball tournament. 

We were very happy to participate in World Teachers' Day because it is important to show our gratitude to them and that we value their contribution to our community. 
Lights, Camera, Action! ACMTC Movie Projects
by Ree Reh

On Friday 7th October, ACMTC students presented and screened the movies they had made at the beginning of the month. Many people attended this event, including Principal Myar Reh, SDC students and teachers, as well as students and teachers from the Karenni Youth Empowerment Program. It was a very exciting afternoon!

The students presented two movies and two music videos, all with different themes. One group made a music video to a romantic pop song ('Steal My Girl' by One Direction) and another group chose to interpret a song about freedom and peace ('We Are Unity' by Umosia). The movie 'Karenni Life' expressed the importance of education in the Karenni community through the experience of farmers, and 'Stop Discrimination' showed how painful bullying and discrimination can be.  

We really enjoyed the movie project as it helped us develop our computer and editing skills, our creativity, and build our confidence. Movies are a good way for us to express our culture and practice our English.  

If you would like to watch 'Karenni Life', we have uploaded it onto our Facebook page. 

Students Run Environmental Campaigns in Dohkita
by Lu Myar 

This month SDC Advanced Course students created environmental campaigns for the community. The campaigns were: stop burning plastic, stop throwing plastic into the stream, save water, and reduce rubbish in Dokhita. This is the first time students ran campaigns and engaged the community in these issues. 

In our Community Management class we learnt about what campaigning is and how to run a successful campaign. Firstly, we were divided into four groups and we had to think about the community issues that were most important to us. Then we made action plans on how we would run our campaigns and raise awareness about the issues we had chosen. 

All the groups made posters and put them around Dohkita to show residents what they were doing. One day, we cleared rubbish in Dohkita and in the nearby rice fields. Another day we invited KnNC students to join us to collect plastic from the stream. Afterwards we prepared snacks and drinks for the students to thank them for their help.

We really enjoyed this project because we think that it's important to protect our environment. It was good to see the community working together and we hope that we will have the chance to do something similar in the future.
Photos of activities during October 2016
Top left: Students clean the stream in Dohkita; A still from the movie 'Stop Discrimination' about bullying in school; Bottom left: students gather at the World Teachers' Day event; Bottom right: students with new equipment kindly donated by Renee Mulligan.
About SDC

SDC is located in Karenni Refugee Camp 1 on the Thai-Myanmar border. It was founded in 2002 by three alumni of EarthRights School Burma (ERSB), who wanted to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about Law, Democracy and the Environment.

Since its formation, SDC has produced over 300 human rights and environmental activists. Coordinator and co-founder Aung Sun Myint continues to work with our team to realize the vision he set out with his fellow ERSB alumni in 2002.
Help us achieve our goals
To achieve the goals and the promise we made in our mission statement we rely on many avenues of support. Core organizational and project funding comes from our main donors. We are also supported by our community, local staff and volunteers from around the world.

All of us here at SDC would like to thank our core funders:

The American Jewish World Service
The Open Society Institute
Refugees International Japan

We would also like to thank our partners:

EarthRights International
The Curriculum Project
Mote Oo Education

We still need support to continue doing the work we do. If you are able to support us financially or with advice or expertise please contact us using the links below.

Copyright © 2016 KARENNI SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER, All rights reserved.