Karen refugee youth took part in a politics, peace and management bootcamp this week. Over 70 people attended the three-day training, which was held at the Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border, according to members of the Karen Youth Organization.
The KYO organized the youth forum as a positive activity for youth in the camp, where abuse of drugs and alcohol is rife.
“The aim is to raise the awareness of the youth from the camp about the current political situations, peace processes, and issues upon the return of refugees,” said Saw Eh Kaw, secretary of the preparatory committee for the youth forum. Leadership and management training was also incorporated.
Mae La Refugee Camp Committee member Saw Sunday addressed the youth during the forum, telling them they should prepare for the future, outside of the camps. The Drug and Alcohol Recovery Education Network (DARE) also gave a talk on the first day of the youth forum.
“Today’s discussions were very beneficial because I have learned about issues that might affect the refugees upon their return [to Burma] in 2018,” said Na Lei Lie, a student enrolled in an engineering program.
The KYO plans to hold youth forums across all of the Karen refugee camps at the Thai-Myanmar border between now and September, according to the KYO officials.