March is the hot and dry on the Thai/Burma border but life must go on. There is no electricity, air conditioning and water is in short supply.
This week DARE Network took two Ultimate Frisbee Volunteers into the camp to participate in an addiction prevention activity with our Teens for Kids Program in Mae Ra Moo camp. Other kids travelled an hour to come from the nearby refuge camp Mae La Oon to take part. All together over 60 young people managed to endure the heat and dust to learn and play together.
To reach our goals to Prevent Addiction and Violence in the camps, we focus on the youth.
Our Master Trainers from our Core Staff, Saw Majer and Saw Wah Do lead the teens in some questions and answers about addiction in their camps among young people and what they were doing to prevent it. This gave the teens the opportunity to share with each other across camps, which is a rare chance indeed.
Ultimate Frisbee by its nature is a “cool” game for young people to play, giving them an alternative to hanging out with nothing to do except experiment with alcohol and drugs. It is directed to all youth and children in the camps who want to play. Ultimate also provides a chance for girls and boys to play together in a game that has no referee. All disagreements must be negotiated and resolved by the players themselves. It is called the Spirit of the Game. It can then be applied to many situations of conflict.
Our volunteers Rachel and Stephen are part of the Ultimate scene in Thailand. They travelled 4 hours from Chiang Mai and then came the further 2 ½ hours on the “off-road” into Mae Ra Moo camp. Stephen and Rachel provided drills and instruction to help improve the game and unrelentingly endured the heat. Bravo and thanks. They also donated special indestructible soccer balls to DARE Network Teams provided by their non-profit company, One World Futbol Project. Chevrolet sponsors the project. Lions and elephants have tested their soccer balls!
All in all we had a great day. Mae Ra Moo Team prevailed over Mae La Oon but everyone upheld the “Spirit of the Game”......thanks in a huge part to you.
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Mae Hong Son,
Mae Hong Son