Yoga at the Karen State DARE Centre
2016 realized a long awaited hope for DARE Network. DARE opened the first ever addiction prevention treatment and training centre in Karen State, Myanmar. After 16 years of work on the Thai/Burma Border returning “home” became a reality.
The work was not without its challenges. Fighting erupted part way through the year, breaking the ceasefire between the Myanmar army and one of the splinter ethnic armies. The rainy season showed us how very difficult it is to get from place to place, where there are no roads or infrastructure.
On the other hand, inside the rural back roads of Karen State, people came together to support our work from the local government authorities to the volunteers in the villages eager to learn and share.
We reached most of our goals for 2016, revised others and overestimated some. Overall, it has been a great success and we thank you all for for your vision and support.C
- Sometime difficult for transportation during raining season.
- According to weather some time need to adjust the training schedule.
- Most of clients are high withdrawal symptoms .
- Security issues. Fighting happen near our target area and make the concerns for our staffs and clients. During this time effect our treatment plan some.
- By the nature of human being staffs feel fear when they hear the fighting and their parents too. Some want to back to parent home.
- All the Male staff gain their driving skill for the dry season and raining season.
- Staff have more relationship village coordinators and village headmen and villagers.
- Staffs are try the best they can to meet the goal.
- Because of the fighting we all staffs feel that the local authority are try to encourage us and back up for security and sharing the regular information.
- We get to learn for the future if happen we have able to make our plan for how to move ourselves and clients to safety place.
- More people are heard our program even we are not going to their village and provide addiction information yet but they hear by people to people who know our program and share the information.
- Clients family are share treatment information to their community because after they see the benefit from treatment centre even we didn’t know.
- Village headmen are participate with us for to manage the client during detoxification.
- We have close coordinate with Back Pack Health Worker Team for to back up our clients for with other medical problems such as malaria, skin disease etc…
- We get request from other village to set up DARE Network program in their village.
OUTCOMES & IMPACTS
DARE Network treated 50 clients in Karen State during 2016. These clients came from many places telling us that the new treatment centre already is known widely throughout the area.
We are open to treat both men and women and although only one woman came to treatment, it is a good sign that women will come more often in the future. Our experience shows us that we attract about 10% wmen clients. This can be improved upon with some effort and attention to child-care.
Our original plan was 20 clients per cycle but we upgraded that target to 35 clients. We reached our original goal but overshot our expectations for a first year. We treated 50 clients in total. That being said, treatment was also complicated by nearby fighting between Military supported troupes and a faction of the DKBA, causing us to lose some of our clients who left treatment in fear. Our staff and the majority of the clients remained and completed the treatment cycles.
- I start to use and drink alcohol since I was teenager because as you may know from other people when you are working in forest and in elephant camp is very heavy and tired. Many workers there are use YaBa or alcohol. First I try from them and I become addicted to alcohol for many years till I can’t stop. My mother worry for me ask me to change my job and to stop drinking but I can move from there. I really want to stop for me and my parent. One day one of my cousin came to visit my parent and talk about what she is working and my parent know she is working and helping for people who want to stop drinking. And my mother ask somebody go to my work place and share the new to me. When I hear that I feel hope and understand how much my mother love me to stop drinking. So I decide to come to treatment center with my cousin. During treatment I was very sure that I could stop drinking. Now I decide to continue to stay at treatment center and will attend the addiction worker training and to become worker. I talk to my mother she was very happy to hear that. Now I got new life.
- 2. When I was in village I am not using any drugs or drinking but smoke tobacco. When I went to Malaysia for work in the construction on the first year I still didn’t use but later my friend ask me to try ICE for to get the experiences. At first I refuse and one day I start to try and continue using for a few year. I stay and worked at Malaysia for 5 years and move to Thailand for new work. At Bangkok I start to use Yabba till I can know my friends and they send back me to my village. I don’t know I arrived to DARE treatment center but they told me at the beginning I was completely out of control and people in village said me I was crazy. Now I know everything and the only thing I didn’t know is how I am here. Now I am Ok and maybe next year I will come again. My parents will be happy when I back to village. Thanks to all DARE staffs.
We are getting ready to start our treatment program for 2017. In addition, we are building a Training Centre to train more addiction workers from Karen State and to offer training to other ethnic peoples from all over Burma. But more of that later.
In the meantime, know that your donation makes a difference and every bit of it gets spent directly on the work and the beneficiaries. Thank you so much