GlobeMed at Dartmouth College partners with the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand to promote the health of women and children displaced by the ethnic conflict in Burma.
GlobeMed at Dartmouth College + KWAT
GlobeMed at Dartmouth College | Hanover, New Hampshire
Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) | Chiang Mai, Thailand
There are approximately 1–2 million Burmese refugees and illegal migrants in Thailand, of which 120,000 live in camps on the Thai–Burmese border.
“We are very glad to work with university students for the benefit of our community. It is a great opportunity to cooperate with young people from a different country. Our team is also comprised of young people and we hope that we will learn from each other as we have different knowledge, skills and perspectives so that we can exchange our point of views.”
– Ah Swi, Migrant Program Coordinator at KWAT
About the Partnership
Five women formed the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) in Chiang Mai in 1999 to support and empower women and children who have left their homes in the Kachin State of Burma and have crossed the Thai-Burmese border into Thailand due to political, economic, and social deterioration. KWAT’s mission is the empowerment and advancement of Kachin women in order to improve the lives of women and children in Kachin society. The GlobeMed chapter at Dartmouth College was drawn to KWAT’s emphasis on women and children’s rights, health, and education, and their grassroots, community-based model. Since their partnership began in the fall of 2011 GlobeMed at Dartmouth has raised over $4,500 to support KWAT’s reproductive health training program.
GlobeMed at Dartmouth aims to fund the Reproductive Health Training course for community leaders and migrant workers from Burma and Thailand, which seeks to increase usage of family planning supplies and increase overall health by promoting safe practices. Well-respected village representatives from Burma, as well as migrant workers from the Kachin State of Burma who are now in Thailand will be trained to understand and promote effective family planning methods, to raise awareness about prevention of STIs/STDs, and other related topics.
Most men do not use condoms, and because the oral contraceptive pills used by women in Burma have not been effective, increased use of family planning methods to prevent disease transmission and other consequences can be anticipated.