GlobeMed at UC partners with Social Action for Women in Mae Sot, Thailand to provide Burmese migrants with health education to help improve their lives.
GlobeMed at the University of Cincinnati + Social Action for Women
GlobeMed at The University of Cincinnati | Cincinnati, Ohio
Social Action for Women (SAW) | Mae Sot, Thailand
In 2008, SAW was one of 25 organizations worldwide to receive the Red Ribbon Award from the United Nations Development Programme for providing outstanding HIV prevention, treatment and education on a grassroots level.
“We would like to implement our project alongside university students, as [they] will assist us in the areas of fundraising, advocacy, communicating with potential donors, and giving technical support to the staff involved in project implementation.”
– Mr. Ko Myo, SAW Project Coordinator
About the Partnership
Social Action for Women (SAW) was founded on June 25, 2000 to assist displaced women from Burma who were in crisis situations after having fled to Thailand. Due to Burma’s long history of oppressive military rule and ongoing ethnic conflict, migrants and refugees have continued to flee to neighboring countries in search of security and opportunity. SAW is based in Mae Sot and initially supported women facing difficulties through the provision of shelter, health education, rights awareness, counseling, and vocational training. Since then, SAW has expanded its focus population to include men and children in Burmese communities along the Thai-Burma border. Currently, SAW has over 20 growing programs aimed at caring for and educating Burmese migrants and refugees in the Mae Sot and Phop Phra districts. SAW has been partnered with GlobeMed at the University of Cincinnati for the past three years to address community health issues and provide sustainable community health education.
Since September of 2011, SAW has been responding to health issues in partnership with GlobeMed at the University of Cincinnati. Through the Community Health Outreach Program (CHOP), SAW provides health education to Burmese communities through workshops organized and led by community peer educators and SAW staff.
During the first phase of CHOP, SAW identified health education focus areas to discuss in training and workshops, increased community reproductive knowledge and basic preventative health knowledge, and increased access to and use of birth control and condoms. During the second phase, SAW trained 20 peer educators, two in each target community, to hold workshops, increase community reproductive health and basic preventative health knowledge, and increase access to and use of birth control and condoms. The third phase, in which peer educators hold health education workshops in their communities and SAW staff provide personal and dental hygiene awareness to the migrant schools, is currently taking place. For the fourth phase of the project, SAW will provide training to new peer educators and extend CHOP workshops to more communities in Phop Phra.
Since fall of 2011, GlobeMed at University of Cincinnati has raised over $36,000 for our partner and sent a total of 15 students to intern in Thailand.
GlobeMed at the University of Cincinnati hopes to raise $10,000 to fund the fourth phase of the Community Health Outreach Program project, which will provide Burmese migrant workers and children with continued personal hygiene education. This phase will directly impact 3,600 Burmese migrants and allow them to disseminate this new knowledge within their communities.