Strength comes from within the community

February 24, 2024

The REI team visit in August 2023 to projects we support on the Thai-Myanmar border yet again introduced us to people who have been empowered through the project activities and now have a role in the community. The projects we support there have gone from strength to strength over the years and this energy comes from within the community.

There is no doubt that the REI mission of non-intervention brings results and is an investment for the future.

The REI General Manager, Yasuko Elison, commented:

“The lasting impression of the visit is the strength of the people to keep moving forward despite the enormous challenges that their communities are facing. The passion for learning at the Karenni Social Development Center; the will to overcome addiction and gain back their health at the Addiction Treatment Center; and the courage and determination of the women risking their lives to deliver baby kits to mothers and babies across the border inside Myanmar. They gave me hope where there seems to be no hope.”

Comments from beneficiaries in REI-funded projects show the impact of the REI mission:

“Before I went to the treatment centre I always craved heroin but after getting a full treatment program from DARE I have lost craving. Moreover, I have seen myself as a valuable person and know how to plan my life for my better future.” A client in the Addiction Treatment Centre in Mae La camp, Thailand

“I am very happy, and my whole family is grateful for the support we have received.” A new mother receiving health training in Karen state, Myanmar

“I am so happy with the skills I have acquired. I am the one who requested for this course and my wish was granted. I am sure this is a turning point in my life.”
“With those skills you would never sleep hungry.”
Two refugees who have set up business in Nairobi, Kenya

We would like to see more organisations funding projects that enable community empowerment. This was discussed at a recent symposium on international development in Bogota. They present the argument that top-down structures are failing to deliver and a more people-led paradigm is shifting power closer to the ground through community-led activities that use collective resources, bring stronger longer-term results.