About Us | Partners Relief & Development

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About Us

We’re a humanitarian service organization with a clear vision: free, full lives for children affected by conflict and oppression.

To love is to act.

Children shouldn’t suffer because adults are fighting.

Since Partners Relief & Development was founded in 1994, we’ve been active in conflict zones in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Prioritizing the hard-to-reach places where other organizations aren’t present, we respond rapidly during crisis events to provide emergency relief.

Working through local partners and directly with these communities affected by war, we join hands to co-develop solutions that sustainably transform community wellbeing, improving access to health care and education and creating a nurturing environment for children to flourish.

Our impact last year.

711Kpeopled helped.

Our story.

It all began in a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border.

30 years ago, while patrolling the jungles of Karen State in Myanmar, local resistance soldiers discovered a young girl hidden in the bushes outside a village that had been attacked by Myanmar Army soldiers. With everyone else from the village missing or presumed dead, including her parents, the soldiers made the decision to bring the girl to Sho Klo Refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border and to the home of Rose Mu, an inspiring woman who had made a decision to do more than just talk about love; she put it into action by leaving everything in Myanmar behind and opening a safe home for children orphaned by the brutal civil war.

Rose Mu at her orphanage on the Thai-Myanmar border in 1997.

Meet the team.

It takes a community to change the world.

Fuelled by your love and generosity, this team is working tirelessly to make our vision of free, full lives for children affected by conflict and oppression a reality.

Meet Our Team

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.Micah 6:8 (NIV)

Our Story

When founders Steve and Oddny Gumaer met Rose Mu, she made this simple request: "Tell your friends in the west what is happening to Myanmar’s children.” With these words, and a commitment to support this young girl who had arrived at Rose Mu’s doorstep the night before, Partners was started. Joining hands with locals to put love into action has been in our DNA from the very start.

As our experiences working with communities deeply impacted by the civil war in Eastern Myanmar grew, so too did our global community of supporters, allowing us to reach even further into areas of Myanmar like Shan, Kachin and Rakhine States, where countless children in remote and hard to reach places were experiencing the same devastating effects of war: poor health, limited access to education and little hope for the future.

Witnessing the power of partnering with locals to develop solutions to improve the wellbeing of children in their communities, our team’s attention was drawn to the outbreak of violence in the Middle East. These kids matter just as much as any. So in 2016 we launched emergency relief efforts in Syria and Iraq, extending into Yemen and Afghanistan in the years that followed.

Thanks to countless people like you who believe that children shouldn’t suffer because the adults are fighting, we've been able to help hundreds of thousands of children in conflict zones in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. And we’re not done yet. Wherever children are suffering as a result of conflict and oppression, we’ll continue to stand alongside them. We invite you to stay with us.