Early Childhood Development Centers Will Support Young Kachin Children in Internally Displaced Peoples Camps
Contact: Nancy Nguyen, Executive Director
LOS ALTOS, Calif.—Chao Foundation is pleased to announce a new grant of $50,000 to Children on the Edge, which will provide safe spaces for 554 young children displaced by conflict inside Kachin State, Burma.
Conflict in Burma
Since June 2011 the Burmese central government has been in open conflict with the Kachin Independence Army, following a failure in peace talks to resolve their longstanding conflict. While this conflict dates back decades, the most intense fighting to date has happened over the past four years, forcing almost 100,000 Kachin people to flee from their homes.
As the central government appears determined to crush this remaining pocket of armed resistance in Burma, their tactics have been increasingly harsh. Children on the Edge has collected first-hand accounts from civilians who have been displaced. They speak of brutal violence, ongoing atrocities, bombings, and severe violation of human rights, including rape, maiming, executions, and the burning of villages.
Many civilians have taken shelter inside poorly supplied internally displaced peoples (IDP) camps. IDP camps continue to grow, and those seeking refuge are increasingly bleak about the prospect of returning home to rebuild their lives.
In the seven northern camps of Kachin State there is no other international organization offering ongoing support of any kind. The majority of these camps are in remote, mountain areas, making access difficult. Confined within these camps are thousands of Kachin children with no educational or physical support, and nowhere to escape the daily realities of war. Children on the Edge is uniquely situated to reach the marginalized and vulnerable children in the remote IDP camps.
Early Childhood Development Centers
Children on the Edge is providing 12 Early Childhood Development Centers in 7 remote IDP camps. These will be safe, nurturing places where young Kachin children living in a conflict environment can learn, play, and receive crucial early childhood care. The centers will provide a sense of security through the consistent, trusted presence of trained teachers. These caring adults will focus on the intrinsic value of each child to develop their self-worth.
Boys and girls ages 3-6 can be free to be children for a few hours a day. Daily activities promote their psychological wellbeing, such as indoor and outdoor play, early childhood education, sessions on health and hygiene, and time for creative expression through songs, dance, and drama. Providing stability for these children who have experienced trauma will promote their recovery and healthy development.
About Chao Foundation
Chao Foundation was founded in California’s Silicon Valley in 2005 by Ping and Amy Chao. The foundation was established to fund nonprofit and public welfare initiatives that (1) improve children’s health in developing countries; and (2) nurture a spirit of philanthropy among the younger generation in China and of the greater Chinese Diaspora. While the Chao Foundation is based in the Bay Area and has local projects, many of its programs focus on developing countries in East Asia.
About Children on the Edge
Children on the Edge focuses on meeting the needs of forgotten children through creativity and expertise. Although they are a small organization, they have international reach and big impact by working with local grassroots organizations and funding partners. Each of their innovative projects are run by local partners and owned by local communities.
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