November 2, 2008

Media Release From The Phan Foundation

The Phan Foundation is pleased to announce the first annual Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader Award.

Each year the Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader Award will be granted to a young Karen person who has shown outstanding leadership and dedication in areas such as fighting poverty, promoting education, promoting development, and preserving Karen culture.

An award of two thousand dollars will be given to the organisation or community for whom that person works. The winner of the award will be announced on Karen Resistance Day, 31st January 2009.

Any Karen person under 35 is eligible to be nominated. That person can be living anywhere in the world.

Nominations close on 31st December 2008. Nominations can be made by any individual or organisation. Organisations can nominate one of their own members.

“Our father always encouraged young people to become active in helping their people,” said Zoya Phan, Director of the Phan Foundation and daughter of Padoh Mahn Sha. “This award is a good way to pay tribute to him, to carry on his work, and to encourage the next generation of activists.”

More information on the award is available at[url=][/url]
The Phan Foundation was founded by the four children of Padoh Mahn Sha, the General Secretary of the Karen National Union, and Nant Kyin Shwe, in their memory. On 14th February 2008 Padoh Mahn Sha was assassinated by agents of Burma’s military dictatorship.

The Foundation aims to fight poverty and provide education for Karen people from Burma, who have suffered decades of oppression. It also aims to protect and promote the culture of the Karen, a culture which is being systematically destroyed as part of the Burmese regime’s policy of ethnic cleansing. In meeting its objectives, the Foundation will, in particular, focus on young people, encouraging and supporting a new generation of grassroots activists who will work to help their people.

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