Enote 63 – IDP Schools

May 20, 2010

The Videos are ready:

In the last enote we mentioned that Dianne, a video photojournalist who has made a number of videos of us in the past, did some interviews on camera with some TReps, and some Trustees. They are organized into two videos of about 4 and 6 minutes each, one is entitled "Come and See", the other is "Thank You". Click here to take a look. I hope you like them.

Saw Bwe Dern & Hee Poe Derrn Schools:

BREF works with several Karen to help people still inside Burma --called Internally Displaced People (IDPs), educate their youth. Naw Eh Thwa in the picture below, is one of them. We started working with Eh Thwa in 2001 supporting the Loe Khee School in the Kler Lwe Htoo district. This area has been under attack by the enemy forces. We read from a recent report:

Saw Bwe Dern School

“The attacks caused some of the schools to close early. A six-year-old female student, her younger brother and a school’s committee from Ta Khut Lay Koe (or) Ta Kaw Dern were all killed during the attacks. Also, the mother of the girl who was killed got a serious injury. Before the DKBA’s soldiers come into the village, the villagers lived normal lives. It was easy for them looking for the fish, and to go into the jungle to cut the bamboo and sell it. Now, nobody dares to go into the jungles or the rivers due to landmines planted by the DKBA or SPDC.” (SPDC and DKBA stand for the State Peace and Development Committee, and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, respectively.


Going HomeAnother IDP school we support with the help of the Brackett Family Foundation --no relation to us-- the Saw Bwe Dern school, is a little larger. It has 117 students and 7 teachers. With the help of Eh Thwa and back-pack medics who travel into the area two or three times a year, we send exercise books, pens, pencils, paper, teacher stipends, clothes for the teachers and students, toiletries, and mosquito nets.

We feel our work inside Burma, is the clearest, most direct example of our struggle against the forces of the military government which is trying to enslave them. Iin the pictures below see the students and teachers from the Saw Bwe Dern school, and the trip back home on the right.


  • Writing the spring newsletter.
  • Executing agreements with our scholarship students.
  • Updating the website.
  • Preparing talks.
  • Personal trip to North Carolina. Met with Naw Per Htoo, a refugee who has resettled in the US.

Remember our invitation to visit us in Thailand next year.

Note added in proof:

It occurred to me when I wrote this invitation, that with all that is going on in Thailand right now, people may not be to eager to come. As I write the opposing groups in Bangkok have signed a peace agreement, and it looks as if the demonstration will quiet down very soon. I should say that most areas we work in are far from Bangkok, and are not influenced by what is going on there. Also I feel confident that by the time we return next January, this disturbance will be history.

Best Wishes to you,


Your day is not finished until you've done someone a favor.