Soon after armed conflict resumes after a fragile seven year ceasefire agreement between Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and former Military Government of Myanmar collapsed in June, 2011, country has witnessed disastrous humanitarian crisis in Kachin state and northern Shan state where tens of thousands of people in conflict areas have been displaced. Local civil society organizations as well as civilian departments of KIO joined hands together to response to the arising humanitarian needs and formed a local relief coordination mechanism called Relief Action Network for IDP and Refugee (RANIR) to put coordinated effort with the resources they had in hand. KDG also played in the formation of RANIR and joined as a member of the relief network. KDG has been since 2011 actively engaging in humanitarian response partnering with local, national and international relief agencies. The following are the sectors that KDG has been working on.
KDG has now set up a mechanism to response to emergency situation under Rapid Response Fund (RRF) program of HARP with Oxfam and TROCAIRE, and acting as local focal for Joint Strategy Team (JST) that is a strategic relief alliance included by nine different national NGOs (BRIDGE, KBC, KDG, KRDC, KWA, KMSS, Metta, Shalom, and WPN)
1. Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Promotion (WASH)
Keeping in coordination with different agencies responding to WASH gap in the IDP camps along Sino-Myanmar border KDG has been focusing particularly in three IDP camps in and around Laiza and local host community of Laiza and nearby three villages as well as currently extending to Maija Yang area. KDG is the only organization that focuses on desludging and treatment of desludge materials partnering in the local area with Laiza municipality with the consideration of localization and sustainability of the project under set standard operational procedure. (Photo – 1)
Under protection sector KDG has been targeting one the most vulnerable groups of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) including injure ex-combatants of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in IDP camps and host community in the Sino-Myanmar border to protect their rights and promote dignity. KDG has been partnering with Berlin based Weltfriedensdienst or World Community Peace Service (WFD) as well as a proud partner of Handicapped International (HI) in understanding the context where PwDs are living, promoting social inclusion, providing assistive device, and encouraging localization through improving the emergence of self-reliance among PwDs as well as in the community.
KDG is also a part of Protection Sector Cluster coordination under auspices of UNHCR office based in Myitkyina, Kachin state.
3. Non-Food Items (NFI)
This includes provision of warm clothes to children in the IDP camps located in remote and cold and high mountainous sites in the border areas, clothes and kitchen kits to the IDPs, distribution of underwear and sanitary pads to adolescent girls and women in the IDP camps.
4. Education in Emergency (EiE)
Through the financial support of Save the Children International (SCI) KDG has able to provide assistance to Alen Bum IDP High Schools in Laiza in 2014 and 2015. Under this scheme KDG has able to provide table sets, double deck iron beds for both boys’ dormitory and girls’ dormitory, supplies for students and teachers, cash for lives saving, and sporting materials, and also conducted protection trainings for school teachers and KDG staff that are the most pressing needs of the time under emergency situation. (Photo -1)
3. Food and Nutrition
KDG has the experience of providing food assistance to more than 20,000 IDPs in the time of emergency situation for three consecutive months with the financial assistance from Metta Development Foundation when armed conflict resumed in 2011 in Kachin and northern Shan state. Proudly to mention that KDG was the first ever such a local organization to distribute food items covering that large number of IDP population in emergency situation along Sino-Myanmar border in Kachin and northern Shan state. Addition to this KDG also provided nutrition distribution to the IDP children and conducted nutrition monitoring among the extremely vulnerable children in the IDP camp of Je Yang which is largest IDP camp in Kachin state and northern Shan state located in Laiza area. (Photos – 2)
ADOLESCENT REPRODUCTIVE AND SEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS ( ARSH) PROGRAMME
Plagued by poverty and socio-political instability, and lack of well strategized local development programmes in the border area youth community particularly adolescents both boys and girls are pushed to indulge into risk taking behavior and immoral acts, and easily become the prey of notorious human trafficking ring across the border. It is seen that many of the local community development programmes are also not given priority to address the problems of youth and adolescents. Unplanned pregnancy, early and child married, un employment, abortion and complications, lack of awareness on reproductive health and rights and human trafficking are the common problems being faced by adolescent girls. Traditional practices, religion belief, prejudices, and misperception on these problems pose as challenges for to bring improvement and changes in the community with regards to these social evils. It is due to this reason that KDG has taken up initiative with the consultation of local community members and stakeholder to intervene these problems.
Strategies for effective intervention- Understanding the context by conducting assessment, research, awareness raising, advocacy in the community, organizing youth events, promoting self help groups, and holding seminars and workshops, and providing assistances are the main strategies taken by KDG to effectively intervene problems being faced by adolescents both boys and girls. (Photos – 2)
1. Early Child Marriage Interventio
According to KDG’s experience in the course of intervention programmes it is realized that early child marriage prevalence rate is alarming condition in the IDP camps and local host community. A study has been conducting with the technical assistance of Johns Hopkins University as a part of global research initiative by US based Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC )that covers Myanmar, Ethiopia and Lebanon to have proper understanding and knowledge on the prevalence rate of early child marriage prevalence rate in humanitarian situation.
Intervention programme includes capacity building for peer-to-peer support, holding regular community meetings, case management, documentation, and conditional cash grants for Micro Income Generation Activity (MIGA), nutrition and hygienic kits distribution for early married pregnant and lactating mothers, and awareness raising activities using relevant tools. Thanks to Tharthi Myay Foundation (TMF) for moral, technical and financial supports extended to KDG since 2008. (Photos – 2)
2. Early Child Care and Development (ECCD)
Children are one of the Extremely Vulnerable Individuals (EVI) in relief sectors and indeed relief agencies cover children into their protection sector and nutrition sector. “It is not enough” said Hkawn Ra a long time local ECCD consultant who has been working in the community on improvement of ECCD movement in Kachin state particularly in KIO’s administrative area for more than twenty years under Kachin Women’s Association (KWA). Protection and nutrition are not the only important factors for children’s physical and mental development; they need love, care and guide to realize fullest development of their capacity. With the hope to fulfill these gaps in the humanitarian setting KDG with the support of a UK base Children on the Edge (CoTE) jointly with KWA initiated ECCD assistance program for children in IDP camps located in remote and hard to reach areas along the Sino-Myanmar border. (Photos – 2)
3. Common Element Treatment Approach (CETA)
The programme cover three IDP camps and two host communities in and around Laiza under KIO controlled area in Kachin state. The programme runs through 2016 to 2018 with a team of counselors and supervisors providing CETA treatment to children in those targeted sites. KDG is a proud partner of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH) in this programme where JHSPH provide technical assistance. (Photos – 1)
4. Durable Peace Programme
This is a joint programme under a consortium of different INGOs, National NGOs and numerous local civil society organizations in Kachin state where KDG is also a partner to this consortium. Activities under this programme include youth capacity building, setting up of semi-permanent youth resource centers in IDP camps and host community, organizing youth events, providing assistance to vocational skills training for early married girls as well as adolescents girls, and boys, peace education, awareness raising on national peace process and participation of youth in peace process. (Photos – LZ youth center, Tailoring training session, international youth day)