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Congratulations to CPI partner Naw Susanna Hla Hla Soe, winner of the 2012 Humanitarian Award from InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international non-governmental organizations, with a focus on the world's most poor and vulnerable populations.
Naw Susanna is an advocate, activist and practitioner for a holistic well-being of women and children in Myanmar. She is currently the Executive Director of Karen Women Action Group (KWAG), a Yangon-based local civil society organized engaged in capacity building and empowerment training for women in particular, and microfinance programs for families, education support for impoverished children, and emergency relief for disaster-affected communities in general.
Each year InterAction recognizes an individual or individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the people they serve in the developing world. The award is meant to recognize individuals whose work reflects important leadership qualities such as courage, initiative, creativity, grace under pressure, personal integrity, personal sacrifice, and who have made significant contributions in the developing world.
CPI's partnership with Naw Susanna and KWAG supports their efforts to rebuild schools and communities, and improve people's lives in the delta region hardest hit by Cyclone Nargis. KWAG provides infrastructure improvements and school supplies for 15 villages with roughly 3,000 students, and reaches out to students and families with key community education workshops on topics such as trafficking,
In addition to her work with KWAG, Naw Susanna is the chair of Women Organization’s Network of Myanmar (WON), an umbrella group of 27 local women organizations. She is also a steering committee member of Women’s Protection Technical Working Group, a network of 50 organizations in Myanmar including UN agencies, international NGOs and CSOs collaborating on advocacy and government relation issues over the protection of women. Naw Susanna earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology from Rangoon University in Myanmar, and also earned M.B.A. from Eastern University in the United States.