Violet Cho finished high school in a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar Border. Her experience as an indigenous Karen woman and a refugee inspired her to go on and study anthropology.
Now a PhD Candidate at the Australian National University, Violet has made the most of the opportunity provided to her through the Endeavour Leadership Program. She is currently conducting research on Karen identity, and has spent extended periods of time in Myanmar and India doing fieldwork and creating linkages with educational institutions.
At the moment, she is busy observing Karen church activities and networks, based in the Yangon region.
“In Myanmar’s transition, indigenous people are struggling with land rights and the effects of large-scale development projects, such as hydroelectric dams and road building,” she said.
“The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is really important as it provides an avenue for people to come together, share their experiences and raise awareness about the critical issues that indigenous peoples face.”
“This day raises awareness of that but it is also a celebration of our culture and diversity.”
Violet plans to spend the day at events in Chiang Rai, which will bring together indigenous people from across Thailand and eastern Myanmar.
Scope Global manages the Endeavour Leadership Program, and assists Endeavour scholars such as Violet on behalf of the Australian Department of Education and Training.