FBR Training Update: Karen Relief Team train local leaders in Reporting, First Aid
Karen State, Burma
2 August, 2005

Training Report – 14-19 March 2005 – Western Karen State

Karen FBR relief teams working in Western Karen State continue the education of local villagers. A training session took place from March 14-19, 2005 consisting of 60 local villagers. This is a short summary by the local Karen organizer of the training:

“The trainees were excited and eager to learn. The people included Karen Youth Organization (KYO) members, Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) members and various village leaders from different areas in the Western area of Karen State. Some of these attendees had some schooling, but most did not have a high level of educational experience due to lack of opportunity.

The training covered the collection of information, documentation of human rights violations, in particular those made by Burma Army (BA) troops and how to interview people. The training session included lessons in basic first aid and public health. Also included was Karen history , their constitution, and the current political situation.

The training went very well. One challenge was that more people came than expected. This meant that the training had to be shortened due a limited amount of food. Despite this challenge, the trainees were excited about learning and they worked very hard. The training lasted five days and it was exciting to see the youth lead their people, educating them for work in the future.”

The team conducting the training attended Ethnic Unity and Leadership Training, a summary of which follows:

Ethnic Unity and Leadership Training 23 October to 16 December 2004

A combined seminar on ethnic unity, leadership training and relief took place in the Karen State of Burma from 23 October to 16 December 2004. The seminar and training integrated the issues of ethnic unity, leadership, capacity building, medical assistance, practical relief, reporting and advocacy. 16 multi ethnic teams- Karen, Karenni, Shan, Arakan, Kachin, Lahu, Pa’O and Rawang- attended. The purpose of the Unity seminar and leadership training was to further understanding and unity among young ethnic leaders, to raise issues of concern and to develop leadership among the participants. A practical aspect of the training focused on training ethnic teams to bring help, hope and love to the people of Burma, especially to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Over 70 men and women comprising 4-5 person teams participated in the seminar, training and follow on relief missions. The training was organized by the National Democratic Front (NDF) and facilitated by the Free Burma Rangers (FBR). The training culminated in a two-day field training exercise to test the teams in every area of their training. Each team will conduct relief missions to IDPs in their respective ethnic areas all over Burma for 1-2 months beginning on 20 December 2004. Upon completion of their missions each team will send a completed report and all tapes and film to their respective leaders who will in turn send them to the FBR office.