The Amazing Project - Stepping Back to Burma

by DARE Network (Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Network)
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

Project Report | Apr 23, 2014
Thingyan - A cause for celebration and support

By Alexandra Heaven | Volunteer

Photo credit: http://blogs.aupairinamerica.com/lie
Photo credit: http://blogs.aupairinamerica.com/lie

Happy Burmese New Year!

Burmese New Year, or Thingyan, is celebrated with a spectacular water festival in mid-April. This is typically the hottest time of the year and so a fun filled festival of water with community wide street water fights, is really the only way to celebrate.

The 4 day Thingyan, or Songkran in Thailand, water festival is widely celebrated and walking or driving down the streets you are likely to find yourself drenched head to foot. People young and old get involved and the positive atmosphere is tangible and contagious.

However Thingyan is an especially hard time for our rehabilitation program participants and those struggling with drug and alcohol problems. While responsible alcohol consumption is practiced by most people celebrating the festival, for some the temptation is too much. For those in our program, not being able to celebrate in the way they are used to or with their family and friends is an especially trying time.

In the Thai border camps where DARE is currently operating, graduation ceremonies for clients in the February program are held after Songkran to give graduates the most support during this time. Extra relapse prevention education and awareness sessions are held with clients and community members before the holiday.

Across the border in Burma, support is not as easily accessible. Drug and alcohol education does not reach the villages and communities, and help for those who need it is unheard of. Details of Thingyan celebrations are hard to come by, but road incidents over the holiday period are high, as they are in Thailand. Education is essential to prevent these destructive accidents.

Recently, DARE has met with the Karen National Union (KNU) to plan for exactly that, prevention activities in Burma as part of the Stepping Back to Burma Project. The first thing that was agreed upon by all parties is that there is a problem with drugs and alcohol and it needs to be addressed. This agreement is a significant step towards making progress with implementing education programs in Pa-an District, Karen State.  

DARE Network will work alongside the KNU to provide prevention education services to communities and villages initially in Pa-an district, with plans to reach further in the future. Plans will continued to be fleshed out over the coming months.

Meetings with Karen Human Rights Groups (KHRG) to discuss the leadership of activities in the Pa-an district resulted in agreement and progress also.  

Currently posters are being designed to support the prevention education activities in Pa-an. They will be initially sent across the border to introduce our programs and the local, community driven aspects on the organisation. These posters have been drawn by teenagers in the Thai/Burmese camps to depict the environment of drugs as they see it, and carry a powerful message for the close knit Karen families and communities. Look out for the posters in the next update!

 

In other news, DARE Network has a new staff member! Alex Heaven has joined the team as a volunteer to help with funding and external relations. So if you, or someone you know would be interested in learning more about DARE Network and the successes to date, please get in touch with her on heaven.alexandra@gmail.com or on the DARE email drugfree@darenetwork.com.

As always, if you would like to support our ongoing efforts to reach those in need of addiction education and treatment please visit our donation page here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/the-amazing-project-stepping-back-to-burma/

Thank you to our new and recent donators, your support is greatly appreciated!

Best,

The DARE Network Team 

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Organization Information

DARE Network (Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Network)

Location: Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son - Thailand
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Pam Rogers
Mae Sariang , Mae Hong Son Thailand
$73,618 raised of $80,000 goal
 
1,324 donations
$6,382 to go
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