For decades, the people of Burma (Myanmar) have experienced discrimination, persecution and violent oppression by the military junta directed against ethnic and religious minorities. In February 2021 the military attempted to wrest control from the duly elected civilian government. In the face of public protests, the military has killed more than 2,000 civilians and imprisoned 15, 000 more. Executions of pro-democracy leaders are now following sham trials by the military. It is estimated that more than a million people have been displaced.
Naw Wah Ku Shee, a member of the Karen (KAH-rin) ethnic group has never known a life without this conflict. Attacks by the military junta have destroyed entire villages in Karen state forcing many people to flee into Thailand where resources are stretched thin. In the face of this devastation, Naw Wah Ku Shee felt called to act and joined the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) which provides humanitarian support for displaced persons and refugees. “We need international support to continue pushing for genuine reform and change. . . to go back and live peacefully and equally as a community and as the people of Burma” she says. For more than 25 years, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) has been partnering with grassroots organizations like the KPSN led by ethnic minorities in Burma. These deep connections mean that UUSC is one of the very few international organizations that have been able to get humanitarian aid to communities since the military coup. With UUSC’s support, Naw Wah Ku Shee has hope for a brighter future for Burma. To learn more about Naw Wah Ku Shee’s work with KPSN watch a video of her at www.uusc.org/guest.
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