The Phan Foundation is pleased to announce two winners of the Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader Award 2017. They are Saw Than Kyaw Soe (AKA) Saw Eh Tho, and Naw Hser Hser.
The Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader Award is given annually to outstanding young leaders and comes with $2,000 grant to support their work.
Normally only one person is given the Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader Award each year, but an exception has been made to mark the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Padoh Mahn Sha La Phan.
Saw Eh Tho has been working with the Overseas Karen Refugee Social Organisation (OKRSO) for eleven years. In this capacity he has been engaged in projects relating to relief work, education, health, literature and culture. He has worked with children and young people to ensure they access basic education to enable them to go on to higher education and university, organises trainings in a wide variety of subjects, from computer skills to culture, organised events to promote and preserve Karen culture, and organised relief mission to help internally displaced people and those affected by natural disasters. He is currently a OKRSO Central Standing Committee member and Joint Secretary 2 of the organisation.
“Padoh Mahn Sha was a Karen leader that I respected so much and he will remain a Karen martyr in my heart forever. I have been wanting to receive this award for many years. However, I didn’t expect this would happen. I am very surprised to receive this award. Now my dream becomes reality. This is not just a recognition of my 10 years of social work, but also the work of my mother organisation OKRSO and the work of many others in social development sector who have been working so hard for our people. This young leader award is indeed prestigious for Karen youth,” said Saw Than Kyaw Soe (AKA) Saw Eh Tho.
Naw Hser Hser has worked with the Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) for the past ten years. In this capacity she has performed a wide variety of roles, including working with grassroots communities in Karen State, advocacy to the international community, supporting local schools, youth and women’s empowerment, working on peacebuilding, and for the end of the use of child soldiers. She is currently a member of the Central Standing Committee of KWO, and Joint Secretary 1 of the Women’s League of Burma (WLB).
“I am honoured to receive the Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader award. This is the acknowledgement of the result of my commitment and passion for the young people. The award also inspires me to take more responsibility for my community. The young leader award encourages and acknowledges for young people across Karen community in the world. In this special occasion, my memory goes to Padoh Mahn Sha, who is very committed for the young people and still his contribution keeps growing even he is not with us in person,” said Naw Hser Hser.
The award ceremony will take place at the celebration of Karen Women Organisation’s day in Taung Oo (Taw Oo) District on 5th April 2018.