Muree, 30, is at the helm of a leading organisation working for the rights and empowerment of Karenni women.

As joint secretary for the last seven years of the Karenni National Women’s Organisation (KNWO), she works to ensure that women in the camps are protected and get ahead in all aspects of life.

“By helping women and girls gain knowledge and skills, I believe I can help them plan their future and stand on their own two feet,’’ said Muree, who has lived in Ban Mai Nai Soi camp since 2011.

The KNWO was founded in 1993 and has grown to take a leading role in promoting women’s issues in the camp community and across the border.

There are two secretaries of the organisation and they divide the tasks of running its activities in the Karenni camps, and in Karenni (Kayah) State.

Muree started out with the KNWO as an intern, working her way up quickly to her current busy and pressured job overseeing the group’s activities that range from promoting livelihoods, health and sanitation to working for rights and peace-building, among others.

Muree’s tasks include providing organisational leadership, developing strategy, managing projects, and coordinating with other organisations.

She also provides technical support to the finance, logistics, human resources and office managers and is in charge of donor-liaison and fund-raising.

“Raising funds is the most challenging part of my work. We need funding to operate, but it’s becoming harder and harder to get it, in the current situation,” she said.

But the job remains very rewarding. “Gaining experience through workshops and trainings, and working with different partners to achieve our goals, makes me happy,” she said.

The organisation has a longstanding partnership with TBC.

“We have gained a lot of knowledge and experience working with TBC, including in terms of child protection, standards and mechanisms of humanitarian assistance, financial management, gender equality and report-writing,” Muree said.

“Working with TBC, we have ‘learned by doing’ in relation to submitting proposals and organising meetings, trainings and workshops,” she added.

The relationship between the two organisations is constant and regular.

“I frequently communicate with TBC and ask for technical support. The teams are flexible, accessible, and very aware of mutual respect and freedom of partnership,” she said.