In 1999, the interfaith refugee Committee of Southeastern Connecticut sponsored an ethnic Karen woman Drucie Bathin and her two children to come to the Untied States of America. She fled from the oppression and mass killing of her people by the military dictatorship in Burma. She was not allowed to study her own language, culture, tradition and literature. She has long being to get education since she was a preschooler. However, because of many problems, she would not be able to go to school.

Drucie Bathin- President
Drucie is an ethnic Karen woman of Burma. After Marnerplaw, (the headquarters of the Karen National Union) was occupied by the Burmese military in 1995, Drucie moved to the Maramoung refugee camp. Then the refugee camp was attacked and burnt down by the Burmese military on April 25, 1995. Drucie then moved from place to place in the Karen resistance area. However, the places along the Thai and Burma borders were attacked by the Burmese military junta. Drucie ended up living in many refugee camps along Thailand and Burma borders. In 1997, she contacted an American friend who was willing to take her out of the country. With the support of the many American friends and the American authorities inside and outside the country, Drucie was granted asylum by the United States of America in 1999.

Drucie Bathin was a teacher, the secretary of the KYO ( Karen Youth Organization) information department, a chairwoman of the Pway Baw Lu village under the Karen Women Organization and a researcher of the KHRG ( Karen Human Right Group), before she came to the United States. Drucie received an Associate Degree of Arts from Mitchell College in Connecticut and now she is pursuing her Bachelors Degree at Eastern Connecticut State University.

With the American friends, Drucie has founded the Friends of the Karen People of Burma to support the education in her native country of Burma.

The Friends of the Karen People of Burma is 501c3 non-profit organization, registered in the state of Connecticut on May 24, 2004. The goals of this organization are to promote and assist the Karen People of Burma in the areas of education, human rights, and self determination as outlined in the Mission Statement.


Board of Directors
Drucie Bathin
Drucie is an ethnic Karen woman of Burma. After Marnerplaw, (the headquarters of the Karen National Union) was occupied by the Burmese military in 1995, Drucie moved to the Maramoung refugee camp. Then the refugee camp was attacked and burnt down by the Burmese military on April 25, 1995. Drucie then moved from place to place in the Karen resistance area. However, the places along the Thai and Burma borders were attacked by the Burmese military junta. Drucie ended up living in many refugee camps along Thailand and Burma borders. In 1997, she contacted an American friend who was willing to take her out of the country.

With the support of the many American friends and the American authorities inside and outside the country, Drucie was granted asylum by the United States of America in 1999.Drucie Bathin was a teacher, the secretary of the KYO ( Karen Youth Organization) information department, a chairwoman of the Pway Baw Lu village under the Karen Women Organization and a researcher of the KHRG (Karen Human Right Group), before she came to the United States. Drucie received an Associate Degree of Arts from Mitchell College in Connecticut and a Bachelors Degree from Eastern Connecticut State University.With the American friends, Drucie has founded the Friends of the Karen People of Burma to support the education in her native country of Burma.

Carol Sullivan
Carol Sullivan graduated from high school in 1956. In 1971, she began working in a law office as a paralegal. She attended Briarwood College in Southington, CT and received a Certificate for Teachers Aide as well as an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies.In 2001, her son met and married Drucie Bathin, past president of the Friends of the Karen People of Burma (FKPB) and presently sitting on the board of directors. Through Drucie, her fiance and she became interested in, and both become board members of FKPB.

David Nichols

David Nichols is a native of Connecticut, graduating from Waterbury State Technical College in 1987 with an Associates Degree in Electrical Engineering. David has always been active with youth through his church affiliations, including filling the roles of summer camp counceller, youth group advisor, and church school superintendent. David has also been on a church sponsored missions trip to work at an orphanage in Oaxaca, Mexico.

David met Drucie in 2007 when he started to support the Burmese refugees that were settled in Waterbury, Connecticut. David joined the board of directors in 2008 and is presently maintaining the FKPB website.

 
Board Officers
President: Louise Lynch
Vice President: John Remecki Jr
Secretary: Melinda Jawadekar
Treasurer: Louise Lynch



Louise Lynch - President & Treasurer
Louise is a graduate of Vassar College in New York and has graduate degrees from Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She currently runs a soup kitchen and food pantry in the shoreline area of Connecticut. She has worked on Habitat for Humanity building projects and is a mentor at the York Correctional Institute for Women.

John Remecki Jr - Vice President
John Remecki, Jr. attended local school and left in 1955 to enlist in the U.S. Army where he had served as a paratrooper for 3 years. He worked for many trucking companies through the years and also operated an automobile repair and fuel oil business from 1968 to 1975. He retired as a tractor trailer driver.

John was always interested in and supportive of groups that support education and the needs of underprivileged. For many years he sponsored a child from India through the Christian Children Fund. He was also active in many Veterans organizations serving in various positions. He was cited by the State of Connecticut for his work as co-chairman of St. Mathews Retreat League and has made over 65 weekend retreats at Holy Family Retreat Center. He also worked at many church functions. He and his fiance (mother-in-law of Drucie Bathin), are Board members of FKPB.

Melinda Jawadekar - Secretary
Melinda received her Master's degree in Public Administration in 1984 from the University of New Haven. She received a B. S. in Education in 1981 from the University of Minnesota. Melinda worked as a Job and Training Coordinator at Centro de la Comunidad in New London, CT for a few years where she was working primarily with an immigrant Latino population. Melinda has been an 'English as a Second Language' instructor for many years through New London Adult Education and Impact- E of New London County.

All this experience led to her interest in working with refugees. Melinda became involved with the Interfaith Refugee Committee of South East Connecticut in 1991 for about 10 years, where she met Drucie Bathin, President of FKPB. Melinda is now a board member of FKPB and also a board member of Literacy Volunteers of South East Connecticut

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