The children we support in Kachin State, Myanmar have recently received new 'crocs' and raincoats to help them cope with the heavy rains and flooding in the remote mountain camps where they live.
Border closures and conflict have left hundreds of families without food and basic supplies in Kachin State, Myanmar where Children on the Edge work with displaced communities, living in remote mountain camps. Our food relief programme has just ensured that 970 households received emergency food parcels, to last them a month. Find out more below.
Every year, our partners in Kachin State, Myanmar provide the children who attend our Early Childhood Development centres with a new set of warm clothes to help them stay warm during the winter months. The children received their parcels in December 2021 and were absolutely delighted with their new clothes. The children were even happier to return to their preschools to show off their new clothes in January after many months of closures.
Thank you so much for your donations throughout the year that help to make this all happen.
The World’s Forgotten Conflict in Kachin State, Myanmar is forcing hundreds of thousands of displaced Kachin people to live in remote mountain camps, cut off from basic services and support. Compounded by Covid-19 and a military coup in Myanmar; the situation for the people of Kachin State is getting worse. Read more about the current situation and what we’re doing to help.
Children on the Edge works in coalition with local communities in some of the toughest places in the world, transforming the lives of marginalised children by creating protective environments where they can safely live, play, learn and grow.
It will come as no surprise that our focus in 2020-2021 has been responding to the coronavirus pandemic and it’s devastating effects in every area where we work.
Bawk Kai Mai is five years old and lives in Kachin State, Myanmar. She and her family were displaced by conflict near their home and had to flee to the mountains on the border of China. Bawk Kai Mai now attends one of the Early Childhood Development Centres we support in these camps.
Kachin State is the northernmost state of Myanmar (also known as Burma) and is bordered by China to the north and east. The Kachin people are an ethnic minority in Myanmar, a highland indigenous people with rich traditions.
Historical tensions between the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the Myanmar government have intensified over the last seven years, placing civilians at huge risk.
A 17-year ceasefire was broken by Burmese troops in June 2011, heavy shelling near civilian populations was commonplace and women reported many incidents of systematic rape by the Burmese Army.
Human Rights Watch reported government soldiers blocking needed humanitarian aid, torching villages and firing on innocent civilians and Fortify Rights have extensive evidence of systematic torture being used as an attack on civilians.
Conflict intensified again at the start of 2018 and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimate that around 97,000 people remain displaced in Kachin State, spread across 140 camps. Our partners estimate the numbers on the border to be more in the region of 120,000.
More than 46% of those displaced are living in areas beyond government control where international actors have very limited humanitarian access. Those living in the crowded Internally Displaced People's (IDP) camps are terrified, cut off from vital aid and still subject to regular military attack.
As central government appears determined to crush the last remaining pocket of armed resistance in Myanmar, their recent tactics have been increasingly harsh. With significant natural resources and political influence at stake, the human tragedy is worsening, and largely ignored by the international community.
Thousands of Kachin children are forced to cope in very difficult circumstances with little support for their healthy development. Many children here under the age of 6, have known little else but war.
Daily life offers few chances of respite from the effects of violence and they have no access to early years education, creative play and psychosocial support.
Around a year ago, we reported how the Kachin communities we work with in the remote displacement camps of Kachin State Myanmar, were beginning to lose hope. Having faced over seven years of being trapped in high altitude camps, cut off from basic services and humanitarian aid, the motivation that carried them through the first season was waning.
Living through what they describe as a ‘slow genocide’, while international attention remains on other crises around the world, 100,000 Kachin civilians endure terrible conditions, and remain ignored. Throughout 2018 these people have faced the threat of continued forced displacement, spontaneous return, land grabbing, and a continuing decrease of humanitarian aid. This has all increased the difficulty of providing for their families, facilitating transportation and facing weather conditions of less than minus ten degrees during winter.
Not only are children aged 3-6 cut off from early learning facilities, but our local partners (KDG) report that most camps have limited opportunities for playing, with terrain being unsuitable to build playgrounds, and little access to play materials. Consequently many older children disappear to the forests and find dangerous places to play.
The 25th August 2018 marks one year since the start of the fastest growing refugee crisis in modern history. Causing suffering on a catastrophic scale, escalating violence from the Myanmar military forced over 700,000 Rohingya people over the border to Bangladesh.
Children on the Edge are committed to investing in education and stability for the Rohingya children attending their Centres, and in time hope to increase their reach to cater for larger numbers. Recognising the burden on already hard pressed host communities, they are also supporting education for Bangladeshi children in Cox’s Bazar and Rohingya children living in enclave areas outside Chittagong.