KLEO on CBC Radio’s Tapestry

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The reality of long-term refugee settlement — tips for sponsors
For the past decade, Coleen Scott has helped Karen refugees make a new home in Canada. The Karen are the largest ethnic minority in Myanmar and they’ve been part of the longest ongoing civil war in modern times.

Coleen Scott is the founder of KLEO (Karen Learning and Education Opportunities).
Scott spends five months of the year in northwestern Thailand. She volunteers in refugee camps and works with parents, teachers, and students in schools in remote Karen mountain villages. The rest of the year, she can be found working alongside the Karen families she has helped settle in Ottawa. She’s worked with dozens of families over the past decade.

Scott is the founder of the Ottawa-based organization KLEO (Karen Learning and Education Opportunities).

She has learned a great deal about what it takes to successfully support refugees as they adapt to their new country.

Here are Coleen Scott’s tips for anyone sponsoring – or thinking of sponsoring – a newcomer to Canada.

Be patient, it takes time

“If supporters and […]

By |October 3rd, 2016||

KLEO Book Sale 2016

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education 

Help us keep Ethnic Karen Students in School in Their Homeland
$1,200.00 a year keeps one Karen student in High School in Thailand – including food, accommodation, uniform, books, school supplies with loving house-parents.
Annual Book Sale
Sorted by categories and alphabetized
Dovercourt Recreation Centre
411 Dovercourt Ave. Ottawa, Ontario
Sat. Sept. 24 – 9:00 – 3:30
Sun. Sept. 25 – 10:00 – 3:00

visit us on Facebook – KLEO Ottawa
www.kleosupportgroup.org – Events

By |September 8th, 2016||

Amazing People & Possibilities at Payup International College!

On Tuesday morning, February 16 Jen’s House students received a warm welcome, a tour and a presentation at Payup International College. The tour was led by the Head of International Campus Life, Melissa Stroud. Our English/Karen translator and Payup student, Wijit Wongboboon,  joined us as well and shared his own story with us at the end of the tour. The International College campus is the English Studies wing of Payup University.


Ingi’s connections in Chiang mai led to this unique opportunity for our students and they had been looking forward to it for weeks. It was the first time these, Jen’s House students, have been in a university environment and their excitement was evident when Ingi and I arrived at Payup to meet them. They didn’t know what to expect but were quickly put at ease by our tour guides. I know they were very happy to be able to communicate in their own language with Wijit, and to understand everything that was being shared. A full tour included computer labs, a class in progress, the Northern Tribe museum […]

By |March 4th, 2016||

Everlasting Memories!

On December 26, 2015 Jen’s House family gathered in the Karen Town of Nong Tao, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. We came together to share and celebrate the success of a collective effort;  that is to provide opportunities for education for ethnic mountain children. Much to my surprise it was also a celebration of my birthday!

Everyone enjoyed the great food and rolled away from the table to relax just as dusk was falling.





Tamla welcomed everyone and offered her thanks for their contribution she mentioned that I would say a few words a little later. During her introduction she talked about the Jen’s House family and how happy we were be together, including Jen’s House grandchildren.

After some songs and dance she called for me to come forward. Little did I realize that my getting up to speak was to be the cue to an amazing surprise.

As I stepped up to the microphone everything went black and silent. It didn’t surprise me as it’s normal for the power to be dodgy at the best of times in Nong Toa. But, what happened next certainly […]

By |February 13th, 2016|Tags: , |

Annual Book Sale

A huge selection of books for kids and adults alike — alphabetically arranged by author. Come find some literary treasures, and help support education for ethnic children in Thailand! See you there!

Saturday, September 19, 
8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Dovercourt Recreation Centre
411 Dovercourt Avenue

Saturday, September 26,
9:00 am to 3:30 pm

Royal Canadian Legion — Westboro Branch
391 Richmond Road
It takes a community to hold a book sale
Support Group is a charity that prides itself in keeping costs to a bare minimum. We do not incur the cost of maintaining an office facility, however some of our fundraising activities require space. These can be hard to find, and rental costs are prohibitive.

Our annual Book Sale is one such event that is held over two weekends at two locations. We have looked to the Ottawa community and they have stepped forward. We would like to recognize and offer a special thank you to the following organizations that generously offer us their ever-elusive commodity of SPACE.

From humble beginnings at the old Puzzles Restaurant in 2006, we expanded to Dovercourt Community Centre. The centre provides their main […]

By |September 5th, 2015||

KLEO at Westfest 2014

It was a chilly, blustery, start to this years West-fest with temperatures between 14 and 17.  The Ladies of Nong Tao’s hand-woven scarves flapped in the wind like flags on a ship.  Everything was weighted down except for the tent. Each time a strong gale flew in Coleen grabbed onto one of the poles so it wouldn’t take flight. 
Three Kleo folks arrived at our old spot beside what used to be Quichua’s World Market but were told that we could no longer set up there. “There is a big play station taking up the whole section, there is no room for you.” No amount of chatter could shake or convince the boss lady in the golf cart. However, she did suggest we approach Shoppers Drugmart as there was no one setting up there.
As Mindy, (the best beggar in the group) flew down to beg for space, Bob and Coleen started to slowly pack up with hopes that they may still be able to squeeze in somewhere.  And then, there was Mindy flying back with a thumbs up in […]

By |June 13th, 2014||

Here and there…

On April 8th Kleo members, volunteers, and others shared a special evening with founder, Coleen Scott and guest, Shar La Lah, a Karen refugee from Mae La Oo camp.
Coleen reviewed Kleo’s past achievements and recent developments at Jen’s House, where a complete new dorm for the boys was built this year. Her personal expression of thanks to the Karen people and the positive ways in which they have enriched her life set the tone for the evening.
“The Karen peoples’ warmth, their empathy and acceptance have certainly been windows of light in my life. They have shared their lives with me and we have grown together finding strength and courage in each other. We have made great strides but there is still a long way to go.”
A review of the changing needs of Karen refugees who have resettled in Ottawa and the educational support for children in remote mountain villages in Thailand was presented.  These on-going projects have built a solid foundation from which the organization is now prepared to venture into new areas. Kleo has now turned to […]

By |May 12th, 2014||

Coleen returns from Thailand

Please join us in welcoming Coleen back, as she presents news about Kleo’s work, new developments, and new connections. See you there!

By |March 18th, 2014||