The activities of MKO are especially health, education, detention and registration with UNHCR for Karen refugees in Malaysia. There were about over 6,000 members in December 2009.
Karen tribe is one of the 7 majority ethnics (Kachin, Karenni, Karen, Chin, Mon, Shan) in Burma. Karen ethnics were entered this country (now we call Burma or Myanmar) since over BC 700 years ago. But now most of Karen ethnics in Burma were seriously oppressed and treated unfairly by the governor and army of the country. They couldn't live in their own places and states anymore because several numbers of their houses, shelters and villages were burnt and destroyed by the military soldiers.
Though all Karen ethnics live spread all the places in Burma, numerous Karen people settled down in the villages and towns in Karen state, Pago` division and Ayeyarwady division. All Karen people in Burma were treated unjustly with very few opportunity of their development and their lives were threatened by Burma military. Almost all the villages in Karen state were strongly discriminated and damaged. Many Karen refugees were not possible to continue to live in their residences and fled to Thai border and inside Thailand. But they are still facing more struggles and problems there, and so they moved to Malaysia gradually.
But even some refugees in Malaysia frighten polices and try to avoid them and operations as they would be captured or arrested by them and immigration. They also don't have any access to legal employment and formal education. So they were challenged by various of depression and stress (because of their safety, food, health, education and welfare needs). So Malaysia Karen Orgnanisation (MKO) stands for all the Karen in Malaysia and help those who are deeply need in help.