Karen Organization of San Diego was founded by grassroots community organizing efforts. In 2008, Karen community leaders had meetings to find ways to support the Karen and other refugee families from Burma who had been struggling to adjust their lives upon their arrival in San Diego. They organized the community and hosted a series of community meetings where community members shared their needs and struggles and discussed all together if they would want to have an ethnic community-based organization for refugees from Burma in San Diego to organize, support, and educate their own community members. KOSD’s founding members including Karen community leaders and Nao Kabashima (then a volunteer at the Jewish Family Services and currently KOSD’s Executive Director) started to have a series of meetings and finally registered with the California Secretary of State as a non-profit cooperation of San Diego on August 11, 2009. KOSD was recognized as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2010, and opened its first office in November 2011 when it received the first grant funding support from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).