Burmese Refugee Youth Prevent Addiction & Violence

by DARE Network (Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Network)
Running from the Burmese Army
Running from the Burmese Army

Burma Facts:

  • For the last 60+ years civilians in Burma have been attacked by the Burmese Junta controlled army
  • The ethnic people of Burma have be murdered, tortured, used for forced labour and human landmine clearing
  • For over 35 years ethnic peoples of Burma have been forced to run for their lives to closed refugee camps on the Thai/Burma Border
  • Thousands of children have been born in these camps and have never been outside them
  • Culture has broken down and domestic violence is common
  • 50-80% of camp families have alcohol abuse problems

Refugee Camp Facts: 

  • 70% of Burmese Refugee Youth use alcohol and drugs
  • Alcohol and drugs are cheap
  • Refugee youth as young as 14 years old inject opium
  • Gang violence in the refugee camps sends 347 young people to the hospital each month
  • Girls are leaving their traditional roles to take up smoking and drinking
  • Unprotected sex between refugee teenagers as a result of alcohol use results in pregnancies and HIV.  This completely breaks their cultural values

DARE Facts

  • Over 12 years DARE Network has provided prevention education and/or treatment to over 80,000 people
  • DARE Network’s treatment success rate is 63%, double western standards
  • DARE Network is a culturally appropriate, non-medical program run by the refugees for the refugees
  • DARE Network’s program for youth saves lives

 Burma Myths:

  • Life is now better in Burma and the refugees can go home

 Burma Facts:

  • Their still is no Peace in the ethnic areas of Burma
  • The refugee camps endure with less funding, less resources and more need

You can help.  Give a recurring donation today to DARE Network’s youth programs


Get your donation matched by GlobalGiving and secure $500. Bonus Funds for DARE.  The Recurring Donation Campaign ends at Midnight on December 31st.  You still have time to help.  Please do it today.

Forced Labour
Forced Labour
Villages burned.  Families lost.
Villages burned. Families lost.
Everything gone.
Everything gone.
Barbed wire refugee camp fences
Barbed wire refugee camp fences
Burmese Refugee Camp Life
Burmese Refugee Camp Life


Playing around with bamboo toys
Playing around with bamboo toys

Dear Friends

Greetings from the Burmese Refugee camps on the Thai/Burma Border.  This season is a special time for the refugees.  The cool season is here and the conditions are right for special events.  Karen New Year corresponds with the calendar New Year and many people in the camps celebrate their cultures and religions, just like all over the world.

For the Burmese Refugees it is bitter-sweet as many families have suffered losses of their loved ones inside Burma.  So many families have been unable to leave the camps for decades and so many children have known nothing but a refugee camp.

Our Youth Program continues over the holiday season as it is an excellent time for the teens and kids to share their knowledge with their families and friends.  Statistics from the Refugee Camps show us that the biggest influence on parents substance abuse cessation comes from their children.  As our Teen Teams share their addiction knowledge with other teens and children, the effect is increasing substantially.

This season please consider partnering with GlobalGiving to support these refugees through DARE Network’s work to prevent and treat addiction in the camps.

We have many projects to choose from and they can be found at this link.


If you want to make your donation really count, consider a recurring donation, which GlobalGiving is matching.  If we receive 10 recurring donations on one project, before the bonus money of $25,000 runs out, we will receive an extra $500.

Our Burmese Refugee Youth Prevent Addiction and Violence Project already has 3 recurring donations made in the last week.  Help us get to 10.  Go to this link and us the recurring donation tab.


Of course, if you prefer to make a one time donation to any of our programs, we would be very thankful indeed.

If you find you can help out, make sure you get your donation in soon to take advantage of the bonus funds while they last.

Happy Holidays from all of us at DARE Network

It's the little things that count.
Making music to prevent addiction
Making music to prevent addiction
Life can be very tough...but please come for help.
Life can be very tough...but please come for help.


DARE Intern Wah Doh
DARE Intern Wah Doh


Greetings Friends of DARE Network from the Thailand/Burma Border.

 DARE Network has been providing Addiction Prevention and Non-medical, culturally appropriate treatment to the refugees from Burma for the last 12 years.

 A big thank-you for all your support to DARE Network’s programs for the Burmese Refugees.  Because of your help, we have been able to rebuild most our treatment centres and to provide Prevention Education activities for the thousands of  young refugees in 5 Burmese Refugee Camps on the Thai/Burma Border.

An example of our success working with youth is Wah Doh, who is interning with DARE right now.  Wah Doh was born in the refugee camp on the bank of the Salaween River, 20 years ago.  He was educated in the camp and had the determination to pass every educational opportunity that came his way.  He is just completing a post-high school Public Health Program in Umpiem Mai Refugee camp.  Wah Doh said that “most of the young people in the camp use alcohol and drugs, because of the war on civilians in his land Karen State.  Wah Doh lost his father when he was young because there was not adequate health care available to save him.  And yet, Wah Doh‘s passion to help his people overcome their addictions, especially the youth like him, kept him away from Substance Abuse.  He is a remarkable and intelligent young man and we are proud to have him with us at DARE. As you may have read in the news, things are changing in Burma.  But the situation remains for the refugees on the Thai/Burma Border.  We must maintain our services to them as big International Donors abandon the refugees and move their funding to Rangoon.  In the camps, rations have been reduced, education and health care have deteriorated and social problems, including addiction, have increased.

We are in strategic preparations to follow the refugees into Karen State when peace is secure and they finally can return home.  We will keep you up to date on these plans as they unfold and unfold they will.

This season we are approaching all of you who have donated in the past two years to consider becoming a recurring donor to our projects on GlobalGiving.

The benefits to you and to us of doing this are many.

  • You will know that your on-going support will have longer term effects
  • You will receive updates of the impact of your contribution
  • You can consider yourself a partner in our work
  • You will know that our energy will go less into soliciting donations from you and more into putting your donations to work
  • You will trigger matching funds from GlobalGiving
  • Your recurrent donations will be transferable to other DARE Network Projects, as we move forward

 Here is what is happening this December with GlobalGiving and DARE Network

 The Recurring Donation Campaign begins December 1, 2012 at 12:01 am ET and ends December 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm ET.

Recurring donations must be initiated between December 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in order to be eligible for matching and prizes

 Recurring donations created on GlobalGiving.org will be matched 1-to-1 up to $100 per donor per project. Eligible recurring donations of $101 or more will be matched at $100.

            GlobalGiving is offering $25,000 in matching funds. Matching will last until funds run out.

            The top 5 projects that recruit the most recurring donors by 11:59 ET December 31, 2012 will win $500 bonus award each. Projects must have at least 10 new recurring donors to qualify for a bonus award.

To see ALL our GlobalGiving projects, including our new MicroProjects and to make a recurrent or other donation please go to http://www.globalgiving.org/donate/6210/dare-network-drug-and-alcohol-recovery-and-education-ne/

 Please click on recurring donation and make a monthly donation that you can afford, keeping in mind what you donated last year.

Only credit card/debit card donations will work for this campaign. 

If you find you can’t make a recurring donation, a one-time donation is very welcome indeed.

Thanks to people like you, DARE Network has been able to maintain its programs as we are not reliant on big government funding.  But we still need your help.

We will keep you up to date on how we are doing in the challenge.  That will depend on you.  Wishing you all a peaceful season.

All the DARE Network Staff and DARE Teams on the Thai/Burma Border


Frisbees can be hats too!
Frisbees can be hats too!

Things may seem to be improving for some in Burma but on the border with Thailand 180,000 people are still locked up in refugee camps.  They cannot work, cannot leave the camps and cannot go home.  This has been going on for almost 40 years now.

Many children have been born in the camps of parents who have lost most of their lives.  The kids are given basic education but the best and the brightest have nowhere to go after they finish school.  Other kids just give up as there seems to be no point.  These lost youthful spirits readily find that alcohol, glue sniffing and sometimes methamphetimines make life bearable....for awhile.

DARE Network continues to work with young people and children, girls and boys to provide stimulus and education about substance abuse.  DARE provides culturally appropriate, non medical treatment to teens who are caught in addiction and provides art, music and sports to help prevent substance abuse problems before they start.  Building pride and self-esteem even in a hopeless situation can be done.  These young people take on the messages and share their education with their communities and families.

Thank you all for everything you have done to help us run these programs for the kids.  

Here are a few pics for you to enjoy.  Happy faces come from engagement and purpose.

Time for play.
Time for play.
Puppet Show
Puppet Show
Teens for Kids Program in Mae La Camp
Teens for Kids Program in Mae La Camp
Creating together.
Creating together.


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


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

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Organization Information

DARE Network (Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Network)

Location: Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​www.darenetwork.com
Project Leader:
Pam Rogers
Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son Thailand
$26,511 raised of $35,000 goal
654 donations
$8,489 to go
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