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.
Feb 20, 2016

Building in Karen State: It takes a community.

The boys on the bikes between villages
The boys on the bikes between villages

Here we go.  Training of Addiction Workers for Karen State completed in 2015 and the Karen Village Coordinators have learned basic addiction prevention skills.  Now, we build the first Addiction Treatment Centre ever, in Karen State, Myanmar.(also known as Burma)

Our Program Coordinator, Law La Say and all our support staff sent 15 of our best Addiction Workers out of the refugee camps and over the river that deliniates the border between Thailand and Karen State, back home for the first time.  The workers and staff are excited beyond words and have gone right to work.  We have divided our team into two for now.  Half the 15 are providing Prevention Education Training in the 20 Villages we have targetted in the mountains of Karen State, Hpa'an District, Hlaing Bwe Sub-District.  The other half of the team are building our DARE Centre that will provide treatment to people in the district and education to over 40 villages, in 2016.  Please look at the attached photos to see the progress.

Law La Say has worked with DARE Network for over 15 years now, dedicating the prime of his life to the work.  It means he often has to leave his family for weeks or months at a time.  This guy is brilliant. He speaks 4 languages and can coordinate all the work of DARE calmly, with a steady hand.  He is much loved and respected by the staff and the Karen Leaders.

The DARE Centre will be completed by May, just as the heat is broken by the start of the rainy season.  The rains make travel so difficult on the mountain tracks.  We have invested in 3 small motorbikes to transverse the mountains, as trucks and other vehicles cannot pass through the mud.

Thanks to so many of you who have helped us along DARE's road to prevent the addiction issues that are plagueing Myanmar.  If we stop one kid from trying methamphetamines or help one person recover from substance abuse, we have done this in partnership with you.  Good on you.

Don't forget to check out the photos.

from all of us at DARE Network

Planning on paper
Planning on paper
Planning on site.
Planning on site.
Ready to build.
Ready to build.
Prevention Education in the Villages
Prevention Education in the Villages
DARE Workers walking to next village
DARE Workers walking to next village
Dec 30, 2015

From the Land of Jade and Heroin

Alin
Alin

This is Alin.  The photograph is from his graduation from DARE Network's Treatment Program in Mae La Refugee Camp, on December 21st, 2015. Alin has completed his second round of treatment.

Alin comes from Kachin State in the north of Burma.  He is addicted to heroin, opium, methamphetamines and alcohol.  Kachin State is famous for its production of heroin and the majority of the male population is addicted.  Many people work in the Jade mines and are paid with drugs, either methamphetamines (YABA) or heroin or both.

In coming to Mae La Camp in 2011, a journey of nearly 1500km, Alin had hoped to resettle to a third country.  Maybe good for him, that the resettlement program was closed to new arrivals.  Faced with his addiction in a refugee camp he sought out treatment with DARE Network and successfully completed the 3 month program. DARE works closely in the community with families of addicts.  Unfortunately, Alin's family remained in Kachin State and could not benefit from the program.  Alin returned to Kachin State, after his treatment and relapsed. It is to be expected, when nothing around him has changed.

Determined to try again, Alin, with the support of his Mother returned to Mae La Camp in 2015 to admit himself again to DARE's Program.  Once again, he successfully completed the program. This time however, Alin has decided to stay on in Mae La.  He will train 6 months as an Addiction Worker and work in the camp with the rest of the DARE Network Camp Team.

DARE has already opened its program in Karen State inside Burma.  We have been asked to come to Kachin State because of the severe addiction problems there.  Alin, as an Addiction Worker will eventually work with us in his own home providing an example to other Kachin people, who are lost in the chaos of heroin addiction.  Alin is the future of his people.  We are proud of him and his desire to give back.

To learn more about DARE's program inside Burma see our Global Giving project, The Amazing Project Stepping Back to Burma. https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/the-amazing-project-stepping-back-to-burma/

and consider a donation to the our Year End Campaign on Global Giving by midnight December 31, 2015 EST

Links:

Dec 8, 2015

DARE Network...Networking in Burma

Opium
Opium

DARE Network-Networking in Burma

 As Sweet December, as the Karen people call it because the weather is finally cool and yielding, descends upon us, DARE Network is completing our first year inside Burma. While we continue our programs for the Burmese refugees in the 5 refugee camps on the Thai side of the border, DARE Staff and Addiction Workers have travelled far through the mountains of Hpa an District in Karen State to 20 villages. Here we provide knowledge to the villagers about the dangers of substance abuse and train our 20 Village Addiction Coordinators about preventing addiction in their communities.

 Meanwhile, we have brought members of these 20 villages together with our refugee trainers into to Mae La Refugee Camp to train 10 new Addiction Workers. The training is a serious one of 6 months both theoretical and practical with supervision by our DARE Master Trainers. It has been busy but rewarding. On December 20th our new Karen State Addiction trainers will graduate and return to their villages, ready to start to work for DARE in the New Year.

 Our first task of the New Year is to build our first DARE Network Training and Treatment Centre amidst the remote villages. We need help with the basics such as cement, toilets, kitchens and wood for the structure and a roof. The Headmen of the 20 villages we are working with have promised to supply the bamboo for the floors and the walls. Each village will contribute and the new DARE Centre will belong to the villagers and the communities. All will be built on land donated by the Karen Government and created by our workers and the villagers.

Meanwhile, our Program Coordinator, Law La Say and our Advisor , Pam Rogers have been in Yangon (Rangoon) and Hpa an Town, networking with other people working in the field and trying to raise funds from governments. Development is coming to Burma but it is a rocky road…literally. Please see the attached video of the traffic jam from the Thai/Burma Border heading back and forth to Yangon. We were stuck for an hour while hundreds of trucks laden with consumables from Thailand and China (yes, we saw Chinese carrots going in) plied the narrow road. The roads are being widened by hand. Breaking rock by hammer into gravel and pouring boiling tar on top while trucks, cars, motorbikes and bicycles try to get by is the not meeting the demand.

 Meanwhile, these truck drivers and road builders take advantage of the cheap methamphetamines to help give the energy to work. It is a drug dealer’s bonanza. There is no law enforcement. Some people are even paid with drugs.

 It is into this “new” Burma that we step. As we enter our 2nd year, we are hopeful of the return of the refugees. Over half of our refugee camp staff will join our Karen State programs, when it is time for them to leave the camps. It is important to us all to keep our assets through this transition. Our assets of course, are our highly trained and experienced Addiction Workers.

 Now in Sweet December, we thank you for your support of our work and request that you continue this support. GlobalGiving’s year end campaign is on and we are on the quest for the bonus funds they award to the top fund raisers. Thanks to you we have been in that category for the last 3 years and want to do it again. Please support us with a donation either once or recurring. Here is our link to the campaign.

 https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/the-amazing-project-stepping-back-to-burma/

 For your interest we include attached our 5 year strategy for Stepping Back to Burma.

 Happy Holidays from all of us at DARE Network

Links:


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