Meet MAY OO MATRAW.
May-Oo is a former refugee from Burma and a member of the Karen ethnic nationality. She was a participant in the International Tribunal for Crimes Against Women of Burma, an event co-hosted by the Nobel Women’s Initiative and the Women’s League of Burma in March of 2010.
May Oo fled Toungoo, her hometown in Burma, in 1988 after the military coup and came with her family to one of the refugee camps in Thailand, near the Burma-Thai border. She graduated from highschool in a school run by the Karen Revolution in one of Burma’s liberated areas. With her experience in war-zones, struggling to survive the aggression of the Burmese military regime and the malaria mosquitoes along the Burma-Thai border, May-Oo developed a keen interest in the fundamental affairs of her country and the people’s health, education, and peace.
May-Oo co-founded the Going Home Where We Belong Program in 2007 with the hope to gather Karen/Karenni refugees who have been educated outside of Burma. May Oo organizes activities for the group’s members to share their experiences of education with those who still remaining in the conflict zone back home in Burma. She designs and teaches courses in local governance, public policy making, democracy, and human rights to the leaders of the Karen National Union at the brigade and district levels. Most recently, she has published a photography-documentary book entitled Stories of Resilience and Hope: Reflecting on War, Ethnicity, and Liberation Struggle in Burma (Blurb Publishing 2009).
Download May Oo’s full biography (PDF)
Visit the Going Home Where We Belong blog