Health  Myanmar Project #15563

The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma

by DARE Network (Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Network) Vetted since 2010 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Staff Favorite Site Visit Verified
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma
The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma

Our Karen State (Burma) DARE Team is working wonders across the border in our jungle Addiction Centre. Our reputation is growing in the area as we receive clients from all over, including the big cities and towns.

Our true Ambassadors are the clients who have gone through our program.  They return to their homes changed in a way that amazes their families, neighbours and friends.  These clients are the ones that refer their friends back to our Treatment Centre, as people come to understand that it is possible to recover.  Our centre is always full.

In 2019 we will be training more Addiction Workers to manage the workload and to strenghten the program.  As well, we will outreach to the communities to where our clients are returning and train Community Workers who can share prevention and addiction education and support to the recovering clients.

Our team also continues to provide Prevention Education to over 40 villages in the areas surrounding our treatment centre.  Please look at the photos of the travel they have to do to provide the education to the communities.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Peace Process in Burma is deteriorating and we are expecting increased fighting in Karen State, as the Burmese Military attack the Ethnic Peoples, more and more.  We will have to Dive for cover.  We have lots of escape plans.  Let's hope we don't have to use them.

We really appreciate everyone's support for this work.  It is vital.

Best from the DARE Network Teams

Divide and Conquer
Divide and Conquer

Usually we send you an update on our work or the situation of the refugees on the Thai/Burma Border or in our Treatment/Training Centre in Karen State.  But this time, we wanted to let you know what your donations trigger.

Surely, GlobalGiving sends you on our reports and sends you lots of their own information, maybe even a little too much.  Sometimes they may mess up your credit card renewals or overshare.  It can be annoying.  But perhaps what you don't know is that GlobalGiving doesn't just provide DARE Network with a web-based Fund Raising platform.  They offer development opportunities for thousands of small organizations around the world, from podcasts to training opportunities.

As well, they also support these organizations, including DARE Network.  As you know we participate in the Year-End Campaign, where we bug you to donate and are very thankful when you do.  But we also received donations from businesses that give GlobalGiving giftcards to their employees.  We compete for bonus funds at year-end and often your donations are raised by a third more through all of our efforts together by these bonus funds.

Because of you we have been successful at GlobalGiving currently ranking 150 out of several thousand projects.  These efforts are rewarded from time to time by GlobalGiving and its partners.  For example we recently received a $5000. donation from Vanguard Charitable Foundation, driven to us by GlobalGiving.

So we thought you might not know all that and wanted you to see that your donations have a synergistic effect.

For our work right now, there has been extensive flooding throughout the border area of Thailand and Burma.  The refugee camps have been affected but even more our centre inside Karen State, which was completely cut off from all food sources, as a result of the flooding.  Our staff worked overtime to find ways to ensure that our clients and workers got food.

Thank you for reading this and we hope you continue your interest in our work.

all best

The DARE Network Team

Mae La Camp
Mae La Camp

 DARE Network - Step Back to Myanmar - 2018


Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education

A Free Mind Cannot Be Destroyed


DARE Network is a grassroots community run organization that provides culturally appropriate drug and alcohol addiction treatment and prevention education to the displaced peoples of Myanmar on both sides of the Thai-Myanmar border. 



DARE is the first and remains the only organization, that comprehensively addresses substance abuse within the refugee, migrant and village populations along the border. Operating since 2000, DARE currently runs centers in 5 camps and 1 migrant village along the border. And now we are opening a DARE Centre in Karen State.


Since 2015 DARE Network has worked in Hpa’an District, Hlaing Bwe Sub-District in 40 villages. DARE has trained 40 Village Coordinators in Addiction Prevention and 20 Addiction Workers to provide non-medical, culturally appropriate treatment for substance abuse.


DARE reaches 20,000 people a year through its prevention education, treatment and community support programs.  DARE is run by the community, it has treated over 3500 people for addiction with an average 61% non-relapse rate over 17 years. 


The Situation 

Trauma, stress, loss of opportunity and freedom are the root causes of drug and alcohol abuse for the persecuted ethnic minorities of Myanmar. 

The 2012 ceasefire has opened up drug trafficking routes in Karen State that increase the presence of drugs in small villages. Many of these villages have never before heard of addiction or know that recovery is possible. 

Rates of drug use, especially Yaba (methamphetamines) are up to 80% in some villages. Even children eat the readily available pills that are wrapped to look like candy.  Addiction tears communities apart, exacerbating entrenched poverty, illness and a lack of education that systemically ruin a community’s ability to develop and grow independently. 


Step Back to Myanmar 

DARE’s expansion to rural Karen State begins to tackle these problems. 


In early 2015, DARE worked with 20 villages to provide addiction education workshops and train local leaders to conduct addiction prevention education and small treatment programs. Now we work in 40 villages in Hlaing Bwe District.


Our five year goal is to be present in over 60 villages across Hpa’an, Mutraw and Dooplaya provinces. 

In the early stages our community based model will focus on the careful transfer of knowledge from our highly skilled camp staff to local village leaders. 

DARE combats the harmful effects of addiction on the people and the community by ensuring access to treatment. It protects the communities through education and community involvement in support, treatment and prevention programs. 


Our Program 

Treatment – 3 month residential or 6 week non-residential, ongoing support groups 

Prevention Education – Teens for Kids, Men Working with Men for Happy Families, Home Visits 

Training – We train local people to become addiction workers and master trainers, to strengthen community resilience. 


Our treatment is non-medical and culturally appropriate. Similar to our prevention education programs, treatment is community focused. Neither prevention, nor recovery, ends when someone leaves DARE treatment or an education session. We work with community members and leaders, families, other community based organizations and ethnic leadership to provide the best ongoing community driven support to prevent and treat substance addiction.



On the Ground 

Impact and Results


DARE Network is passionate. It ensures adequate treatment and prevention services to the ethnic minorities of Myanmar. Each year we look for new ways to expand our programs and analyze the current environment. While the big issue, namely supply of drugs and alcohol is out of our hands, we do the best we can with the resources available to us to assist those affected by the trade. 

This a snapshot of the annual results: 


2015-17 In Karen State:

  • 25 Addiction Workers trained to work inside Karen State in 20 villages
  • 40 Village Coordinators trained in addiction basics and ready for more. 
  • Site of Karen State, Hpa’an District DARE Treatment Centre selected and building planned
  • Leaders engaged


In the Thai/Burma Border refugee camps:

 300 clients treated in the residential and non-residential programs 

 61% non-relapse rate. This is significantly higher than many western treatment programs, and a consistent yearly figure 

 269 prevention education sessions reached over 18,000 people 


 1,700 participants in our DARE for All community programs 

 62 camp based staff, 98% local staff from Myanmar

 297 volunteers for our DARE for All programs 

 24,000 people visited and given support through our home visiting program 



Client Story 

Long Term Recovery Client  (identity concealed)


“I started to use drugs & alcohol when I was a teenager. When I followed my friends somewhere, they would force me to use it; if you did what we said, you could follow us and enjoy with us. I spent my time using with my friends every time I was with them. 

“I started to become addicted step by step until without drugs & alcohol I couldn’t do anything. Therefore I became under the control of drugs & alcohol. 

“During my addiction, local authorities came and encouraged me to stop using. Moreover they let me know about the DARE treatment program for my recovery. After that I agreed 

with them and went to the DARE treatment center. 

“I felt happy while I was in the treatment center. The addiction workers showed good support to us. They gave us good knowledge and activities during the treatment period. I was satisfied with the addiction workers, who didn’t ignore me and had a good relationship with me. Therefore I am eager to change my mind and became a valuable person again. 

“After treatment I had to face many problems. Mostly people who lived around me were addicted people. I remember while we were in treatment period, the addiction worker spent their time to give us 

education to become a good person, so I could control my mind and try to avoid it easily. I wanted to inform all of the people who lived in the community; using drugs & alcohol were not a good thing. It will damage you and will destroy your people for the future.”




DARE Network offers Humane Addiction Treatment respecting the human rights of addicts and their families.


1STAddiction Prevention and Treatment Centre opens in Karen State, Myanmar


During 2018 DARE Network has the following objectives.


  1. Run DARE Training and Treatment Centre near T’ree Hpoh Kwee
  2. Train 40 Village Coordinators in Prevention Education, 80 times in 12 months
  3. Facilitate 40 Village Coordinators to share Prevention Education to their own 20 villages and 20 other villages, 400 times in 12 months
  4. Provide 3 cycles of Addiction Treatment in DARE Centre in T’ree Hpoh Kwee
  5. Core DARE Staff support, monitor and evaluate program outputs
  6. Coordinate with CBOs and CSOs in Hpa’an District
  7. Provide detox training to actors in Kachin State
  8. Undertake Assessment of villages in Mutraw District
  9. Outreach to Kachin Addiction workers to offer full Addiction Worker Training

DARE Network continuous to support the Burmese Refugees in 5 Camps and 1 Migrant Area on the Thai/Burma Border

Activities for 2018

  1. Training of Addiction Workers
  2. Prevention Education and Community Interventions
  3. Treatment of Substance Abusers

We continue to seek more funding to help us meet these objectives and activities.

Saw Law La Say, Program Coordinator, 

Pam Rogers, Capacity Advisor/Addiction Trainer 

Arrested Drug Addicts sent to Kachin Treatment
Arrested Drug Addicts sent to Kachin Treatment

Warm Greetings from Karen State

Although the majority of our population are the Karen people in Karen State, our Step Back to Burma project includes the goal of reaching out to other ethnic groups in other ethnic states of Burma.

 We decided to focus first on the Kachin people of northern Burma. There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost, the Kachin people suffer from the highest rates of addiction in the country. This is largely due to the Jade Mines and the Opium Poppy growing in the region. Jade is a rich resource in Burma and much loved by the Chinese people. The Jade mines of Kachin State produce some of the finest Jade in the world. This requires many workers to mine the Jade, which is a labourious and dangerous job. Many of the “ Jade Lords” pay their workers with Opium and Heroin. Heroin is refined in Northern Burma and readily available at a very cheap price. Addiction to Heroin is a major problem in Kachin State. Needles are shared and HIV is rampant. The need for intervention is great.

 The second reason for focussing on the The Kachin people is historical. During the Second World War, the Japanese invaded Burma with the support of General Aung San (Aung San Suu Kyi’s Father). The British Colonialists resisted with the help of the Karen and Kachin Armies. The Karen and Kachin were then brothers in arms and suffered together greatly at the hands of the Burman armies. Later Aung San realized the Japanese were a cruel partner and changed sides in return for Independence from Britain. From this time the Karen and Kachin have been sympathetic to each other and continue to suffer at the hands of the Burmese Military Regime. Currently, the Kachin people are under attack daily by the Burmese Military.

 The Kachin people are in majority, Christian. There are many churches in Kachin State including Caltholic and Protestant sects. The response to the addiction problem has been strong, well intended but largely misguided through misunderstanding of how addiction works. The Kachin are very organized and have an excellent infrastructure with many treatment centres set up. However, the treatment program consists of chained up cold turkey detox accompanied by reading of the bible.

 DARE Network has much to offer in terms of education and skills to this group that works hard to help their people. Our Program Director Law La Say and our Kachin Addiction worker Ay Lin, who is in Mae La Refugee camp travelled to Kachin State late in 2017, as a follow up to our approach to the Kachin, in 2016. They visited several treatment centres, did a needs assessment and learned from the Kachin workers. Now together they are planning a Detoxification Training in June to share our systems and provide skills to the Kachin Addiction workers, so that they can be more effective with their recovering addicts.

We will let you know how this goes.


Thank you so much for your support for our Amazing Project.


Needles everywhere.
Needles everywhere.
Cooking Sweet December Special Meal
Cooking Sweet December Special Meal

Welcome to Sweet December in Karen State.  At the DARE Centre in T'ree Po K'wee village the DARE staff and clients come together to enjoy the beginning of the cool season and the end of a year of hard work.

December is the time of year when the Karen people slow down to appreciate the good things that life has given them in spite of the harshness of living under the control of a brutal Military regime and the unfathomable loss they as a people have sustained.

Now, as the children are free from studies and the temperature becomes comfortable, is a time for family and friends to come together in love and to celebrate their culture with music, dancing, games and food.

At DARE Network, as our cycle of treatment for our recovering addicts comes to an end, it is also time to celebrate the success of people locked in the cycle of addiction breaking free from those bonds and starting their lives anew with hope and purpose.  It is a time of joy and alot of fun.

So as the rest of the world likewise gathers their loved ones together for year-end celebrations, we at DARE share ours with you.  You are our family too.  Your support has made all this possible and we thank you from all of our hearts.

Meanwhile in the refugee camps just over the border, people are struggling as the hope of returning home is stymied by the lack of progress of the Burmese Military.  They refuse to withdraw their troops from Karen State and people are still fearful of going back to their homeland.  The camps are in a state of extreme poverty and we at DARE need to keep supporting the refugees.

Please check out our Year-End Campaign on GlobalGiving and our new project, at the link included in this report.

Happy Holidays to all of you from all of us.

DARE Network



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Organization Information

DARE Network (Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Network)

Location: Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son - Thailand
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Pam Rogers
Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son Thailand
$45,690 raised of $50,000 goal
733 donations
$4,310 to go
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