DARE Network (Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Network)

DARE (Drug & Alcohol Recovery & Education) Network is a grassroots national NGO. DARE Network provides culturally appropriate non-medical treatment & prevention education to reduce substance abuse & associated social issues within the communities of displaced ethnic people from Burma, along the Thai/Burma border. DARE Network envisions the strength of ethnic people from Burma to use the power of recovery from addiction as a non-violent means to resist oppression. A Free Mind Cannot Be Destroyed.
Aug 14, 2012

10 Months Since the Flooding...What Have We Done?

Umpiem Replacing the Roof
Umpiem Replacing the Roof

Dear Friends

Hard to believe it has only been 10 months since the flooding in Thailand devastated the Burmese Refugee Camps on the Thai/Burma Border.  Since that time, thanks to all of you we have raised $12,900 dollars of the $20,000 we projected we would need to recover our DARE Centres in 5 camps.

Three of the DARE Centers have been completely rebuilt by the refugee DARE workers.  These also, have been re-supplied with items needed for treating the refugees who come to DARE Network to recover from their addictions and for activities for the young people in the camps to prevent future addiction.

The other two DARE Centers are nearly completed.  We are attaching some photos for you to see the progress of the work in Nu Poe and Umpiem Mai camps.  Umpiem camp was also hit by a big fire this year.  DARE lost the roof of the building.  Fortunately no one was hurt from DARE and we were going to take the roof off anyway, as it was already damaged by the bad weather.

We are still in need of funding for the interior of the buildings in Nu Poe and Umpiem, which includes sleeping mats, mosquito nets, white boards for training, kitchen supplies, stoves and pots for cooking for the clients and paper materials for treatment and training, sports equipment for the young people, art supplies and musical instruments.  We also need a few additional items to finish off the buildings themselves.

The situation in the camps have become more difficult as Burma opens up.  Life may be better in the cities in Burma and the big donors are lining up to get in there, but they are neglecting the camps as a results.  Rations have been cut causing more hunger, poverty creating further social problems including addiction.  We at DARE are needed now more than ever.  Until people can return home safely, they are stuck in the camps depressed and desperate.

Fortunately, our workers are doing their best to alleviate the suffering and learning how to support each other.

Thanks to all of you for your support.  Feel free to continue. Or consider making a recurrent donation.  It will go a long way and you can rest assured that every cent that comes to us from GlobalGiving goes directly to the refugees.

Pam

DARE Network

Working on the floor
Working on the floor
Painting to prevent insect destruction
Painting to prevent insect destruction
Umpiem Mai DARE Centre
Umpiem Mai DARE Centre
DARE Staff in front of building
DARE Staff in front of building
High balance
High balance
Jun 11, 2012

We are stuck!

Dear Friends

All of you have been so supportive to the work of DARE Network.  Our Burmese Refugee Youth Prevent Addiction and Violence has almost reached it's goal and nearly completed its work for this GlobalGiving project.  We hope you have enjoyed the last 11 reports we sent to you on the accomplishments of our work with the young people in the Burmese Refugee camps.

However, because of the floods late last year our focus and your focus turned to recovering from that event.

But now we have a chance to finish our work on the Youth Addiction Prevention program.  Our final project goal, as we have described before is to help the young refugees connect to their cultural roots through song writing and singing. The teens will choose one aspect of their traditional culture and create a song about it.  Each team of teens will choose a different piece of culture to describe.  Together they will share what they have written and sing for their elders. This will happen in 2 of the 5 camps we work in and reach out to several thousand people.

Loss of culture is a big factor in addiction in refugee camps.

Luckily for all of us, we can do this very quickly.  We need only $1,468.00 to finish the project.

Because of your past support, DARE Network has become a SUPERSTAR on GlobalGiving.

This Wednesday, June 13th GlobalGiving is matching donations at a rate of 50% for SUPERSTAR partners.  All other categories of projects will receive less.  This is a big chance to finish the project.

It means we only have to raise $734.00 from all of you matched at 50% by GlobalGiving to make our final chapter of this project.  Hope you all can help with this.  

Please remember to give early in the day. GlobalGiving only has $75,000 to give in matching money to all the worthy projects it supports.

Thanks once again to all of you.

The Whole Team at DARE Network on the Thai/Burma Border

May 17, 2012

Postcard: Project Site Visit

The refugee camp
The refugee camp

Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Thailand:

Imagine being stuck in 1 place for your entire life – one community with the only way in or out controlled by authorities of another land. Imagine having no access to income generating activities outside of this compound. Imagine not having a country or state to claim and call home – from yours, you fled for your life and from violence. This is the situation of the refugees I met near Mae Sariang, Thailand.  On May 4, 2012 I visited the work of D.A.R.E. Network, which supports these communities with Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Education, and experienced the impact it has along with the facilities GlobalGiving supporters helped rebuild after the floods.

I met with staff of the DARE Network in Mae Sariang and after a wonderful tour of the office by Lawlaysay, Kiri and Det Sot took me to one of the refugee camps they work in – a Karen group camp to be specific. The Karen group is an ethnic group found throughout Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and other areas. This trek to the camp was a rough 2 hours through the mountains – a dangerous tarek during the rainy season, Det Sot told me. 

Along with the direct therapy and prevention work that DARE does, its staff also coordinates with other active NGO’s in the camps to ensure they were all meeting the needs of these communities that have little to no access outside of the camps unless emigrated to the “Third Countries” as they call them – the U.S., Canada, or Australia. I asked why is supporting the youth important, and the staff said because the youth are stuck in the camp and can get trapped using drugs and alcohol. DARE protects the youth and provides alternative activities like their “ultimate Frisbee tournaments”, holding educational groups before activities like ultimate Frisbee can begin. I asked what other types of activities the villagers and youth have access to, and the staff said none.

Immediately upon entering the camp, you could see remnants of the flood’s impact on the community, but the strength of the inhabitants. Their homes were washed away and bridges were destroyed. After, the refugees returned from higher ground, rebuilt homes, fixed bridges and carried on.  The center had just finished its round of therapy and was on break until the next round of therapy began – along with the youth program since they were on holiday.

After, I met with the head of "Social Welfare" in the camp that explained there were about 18,000 refugees in the one camp alone. His role was to deal with fighting within the camp along with social conflict. He said although alcohol was not allowed, people still found ways to get it into the camp. He also explained he is volunteering at DARE. Why was it important to him? He said because at first there was pushback from users in the community, but now the users after receiving therapy receive jobs and are hired providing outlets to alcohol and drug use, not to mention income for their families. He went on to explain that now there were only 11 workers serving this large camp. He hoped there would be more DARE workers to make the camp “more strong”.  There is a saying there that “when using the bottle, you go straight to heaven” – demonstrating the importance of DARE’s presence within the camp along with its educational, awareness, and prevention work along with treatement.

 In addition to its facilities,  Lawlaysay explained to me the goal is to translate its process in a "training" manual that is the accumulation of over 12 years of work. DARE hopes to help people not only in the camps but also inside Burma and even in Karen/Burmese communities in the countries where the refugees have resettled, particularly the USA.

Meeting with staff at the DARE center
Meeting with staff at the DARE center
studying the DARE methodology
studying the DARE methodology
rest of the community supported by DARE
rest of the community supported by DARE

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