Swift Aid

Kachin State, in northern Myanmar, is often overlooked by the international community. Tensions between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Myanmar military have intensified over the last seven years, and an estimated 86,000 people are living in Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps.

In early April, approximately 6,800 people in Kachin State fled their villages when fighting broke out. Thousands of people sheltered in local churches, existing IDP camps, or with host families, but nearly 2,000 were trapped in a forest for several weeks. The Washington Kachin Community – many of whom are refugees themselves – mobilized and raised $8,209. We matched that, and funds were sent immediately, providing food, blankets, umbrellas – and priceless solidarity. Going forward the Kachin Community has prioritized scholarships for children living in IDP camps.

“I myself had gone through this situation. But being able to be in school, no matter what circumstance was, gave me hope to live on. So, we really want to help IDP children, many of them who lost their parents during the conflict, not to give up hope in their life.”

—Zau Bawk, Leader, Washington Kachin Community