The event was a fundraiser for the internally displaced person's project of the Karen Women's Organization, which operates on the Thailand-Burma border.
There are over 1,000,000 internally displaced persons inside Burma, unable or unwilling to flee to refugee camps in Thailand even though their villages and farms have been burned and destroyed by Burma's regime.
Off-limits to international aid agencies, only a few brave organizations risk landmines, attacks by the Burmese regime's troops, and malaria to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to these peoples. The KWO is an organization of brave Karen women who have taken up this task.
Human Rights Director of Refugees International, as well as a member of U.S. Campaign for Burma and the Women of Burma Working Group Ms. Veronika Martin hosted this event on December 12 at her house in Washington, D.C.
She expressed the importance of the role of women’s organizations in humanitarian efforts for refugees particularly IDPs: “I think it’s so important to have an indegenous or ethnic women’s group for all the different groups because they can be so important for getting information about what is going on for sharing information with international groups like Refugees' International so that we can use that information in Washington DC. to advocate for things that are important for them.”
Naw Tamalasaw, an ethnic Karen intern, who is currently visiting the U.S. for an observation trip also organized this event and explained about the KWO's objectives and how they are going to use these funds to assist IDPs.
Ingrid Drake, a journalist from Free Speech Radio News commented on this event: “I think event like this are important, because we have a lot of wealth in this country and some of us don’t think we have a lot of wealth. But then you put it in a perspective in our ten dollar, we might spend on a meal could help support on education program in Thailand for a Karen child, for any children for a month or two is mind bugging. So I think we should continue to raise money and also share culture, food, clothing, stories and ideas with each other and that is so important to us as a "Globalization" in a good way.”
Loh Tu Moo, a visiting intern from Thai-Burma border refugee camp concluded her empathy and concerns for IDPs from the bottom of her heart: “IDPs situation is far more worse than refugees like us. Helping and assisting IDPs in this way is not a real solution, just a temporary relief for them. The real solution is to achieve a peaceful and united country for all ethnic nationalities.”