New York-based US Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children honors 2005 Voices of Courage awards to two reproductivre health advocates for their achievements in helping to improve refugee women's health.
Sophia, 27-year old ethnic Karen reproductive health advocate from Mae Tao clinic, Mae Sot, Thailand is one of the award recipients.
US Women's Commission spokesperson Megan McKenna said, "Refugee women and girls are their own best advocates. So when they can speak directly to the policy makers, that is the best case of all. That's what we do with our voices of courage award."
Ms. McKenna added, "We are very impressed with the work that has gone on there. Particularly Mae Tao Clinic, which we supported for many years. The work that women are doing along on the border, risking their lives going into Burma to help those people who can't leave and make it to health clinics like Mae Tao clinic in Thailand. We try to be as supportive as we can for those efforts. We encourage that they continue to work to save lives. Women's Commission will do all we can to support their courageous efforts."
Since Sophia cannot attend the award ceremony in New York, last year's recipient Dr. Win Myint Than accepted the award on her behalf.
From Mae Sot Sophia told VOA that she began her healthcare career as an assistant nurse in 1997. Her mother's painful child-delivering experience inspired her to pursue this profession. Sophia thanked the international community and her team at Mae Tao clinic for their support.