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.
Mar 15, 2016

Preventing Addiction Needs to be Fun

The Winners
The Winners

Ultimate Frisbee and Addiction Prevention

 

In Mae La Camp, 20,000 young people have lost their opportunities for advanced education. They are full of youthful energy and hope and yet live in a hopeless environment, which prevents them from meeting their human potential. Many of these young boys and girls turn to experimentation with alcohol and drugs to alleviate boredom and to reduce the impact of their feelings of loss.

 

DARE Network has long recognized that if minds, bodies and spirits can be involved in the expression of energy, then the pain of loss can be dispelled. To this end, we have introduced the game of Ultimate Frisbee to the youth of the Burmese Refugee camps through our Teens for Kids programs

 

Basically, the teens and children have a fun day learning a new “cool” sport. Volunteers from the Ultimate Team in Bangkok, the SoiDawgz travel at their own expense to share the game with the refugees. Of course, they too have a great experience seeing the joy come to the young peoples hearts.

 

This last month Tri, Liz, Polly and Helen travelled 8 hours to Mae La Camp, where our DARE Team had over 50 teens ready to learn the game and play a tournament. The weather is hot and the football ground where we play is dusty. Lots of little kids are hanging around looking for their chance to join in.

 

The DARE Team starts the day off with a fun quiz about Addiction Prevention making a competition out of who can come up with the right information. We take the opportunity to share about how people can become addicted. Of course, there is a prize for the Teens Team that gets the most answers.

 

Then into the Frisbee practice drills and finally an exciting tournament. Everybody wins in Ultimate. There were trophies and prizes for everyone. And presents of thanks were given from the kids to the volunteers. Ultimate is a game that promotes negotiation and conflict resolution through the Spirit of the Game. There is no referee. As well, it is a game where boys and girls can play together combining strength with strategy to create gender equality. All of these skills are useful in communities affected directly by war.

 

All of us at DARE Network offer our thanks to all of you who have continued to support DARE’s Prevention programs for youth in the refugee camps. We are now preparing to take these programs back into Burma, when it is safe to do so, possibly in the next year or two. You all are making this possible.

 

 

Preventing Addiction
Preventing Addiction
Lunch for the volunteers
Lunch for the volunteers

Links:

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

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