Naw Hsa Moo, Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)

December 15th, 2022  •  Author:   Progressive Voice  •  3 minute read
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My name is Naw Hsa Moo. I was born in Thailand in 1985 after my parents had fled human rights violations from their village in Burma to Thailand-Burma border area in the late 1970s. I grew up in Mae La Oo refugee camp along Thailand-Burma border and completed high school education there.

In 2005, when I was 19 years old, I joined a program called “Internews Journalism School” in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I trained to become a journalist. After the journalism school, I volunteered for various Karen organizations, including for the Karen Student Network Group (KSNG), an umbrella network of numerous Karen students groups based in the refugee camps and inside Karen State. There, I ran the Media Department, publishing regular news and updates for a large audience of refugees in Thailand and Internally Displace Persons (IDP) population in Burma. I was specifically responsible for managing dozens of radio and news production. In addition, I coordinated with foreign journalists and other media organizations to help facilitate their access to Karen population in vulnerable situation in refugee camps and IDPs areas.

Currently, I’m working with Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN) based in the Thailand-Burma border, as a Media Coordinator. My role as a Media Coordinator entails producing environmental magazine; providing media training; attending local, regional and international advocacy meetings; and facilitating foreign journalists and media agencies to access vulnerable and dangerous situation in IDPs areas.

Throughout my work, I have provided many trainings and workshops to Karen youth about media and how media can be a great tool to create positive change. As a female journalist, I ensure women’s active participation in media trainings in order to foster their confidence and knowledge on environmental issues. Increasing women’s participation in these issues is the key to bringing justice, equality and peace to communities, as empowered women can better articulate the many concerns and injustices resulting from militarization, land and resource plunder. I have been able to develop skills in the use of media for environmental and human rights campaigns. My ultimate goal is to continue taking part in building peace and justice in my country. I’m happy that I can still help my community through my work with the media. I’m trying my best to be the bridge for the voice of the voiceless.

What got me into this line of work is the Karen struggle which has lasted more than 70 years. I don’t want to see my people to suffer anymore. I can see the resilience of my people and I am motivated from their strength to continue to work for my community and freedom for all ethnic communities in Burma.

Every day I hear news of fighting. I know innocent people are suffering from the active conflict so I feel so broken. As long as the people in Burma are suffering, I can’t rest. I can only be happy once we can enjoy our freedom, peace and human rights in our country.

A few different people have great influence over my work. Padoh Mhan Sha has been a great motivation and inspiration to carry on my work tirelessly. My mom has been my role model and a wonderful example of strength and empathy.