Building the Future – Training, Thai/Burma border

$19,820 of $19,820 raised
2013-06-01 ~ 2013-05-31
Agency: DARE (Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Education
This project will build the DARE Network’s capacity to meet the addiction demands of refugees living in camps on the Thai/Burma border as well as prepare for refugees returning to Burma in the future. 1 intern will be trained to become a DARE Addiction Master Trainer inside Burma and a further 20 refugees will be trained for 6 months to become Addiction Workers within the camps to replace those that have resettled to third countries. 20 young people and their families will also received treatment for their addiction.

The impact of resettlement of refugees to third countries has placed a great deal of pressure on the DARE network to recruit and plan training for replacement staff, as well as review training for the staff who remain. The changing situation in Burma has brought cautious hope but the peace talks are only progressing slowly and at the same time there continues to be conflict in some ethnic areas. However if the peace talks are successful and it is deemed safe, the DARE network ultimately hope to follow the refugees home to Karen State and planning for this is underway.

The project supports the trainees to practice their theory with hands-on, supervised experience in a treatment cycle for 20 Youth Clients and their families. The selection process for becoming an Addiction Worker is very thorough, with priority being given to candidates who have some involvement with addiction, either personally through their family or their neighbours. Another requirement is that the trainees must be prepared to go into Burma and work with the community there, helping to support DARE’s long term goal of providing addiction support within Burma.

Additional information

The DARE network has been working with local ethnic communities for 12 years and its aim is to build addiction awareness and to develop collaborative, culturally appropriate resources to address the challenges of addiction along the Thai/Burma border. Refugee Empowerment International has been supporting their work for 8 years.

The treatment cycle for drug addicts and alcoholics is non-medical using Burmese herbal medicines, acupuncture, herbal sauna and traditional massage, as well as a variety of culturally appropriate therapies. HIV/AIDS Education also forms part of the treatment process. Their current success rate of non-relapse over 10 years is 63%, compared to North American rates of 20-30% over 2 years.


DARE trained three Master Trainers, including their intern, which adds to the organizations capacity both in camps and outside. Further, DARE also trained 22 new addiction workers/trainers from five different refugee camps. These workers have received both theoretical and practical experience and are now able to train others in camps and give preventive education.

Additionally, 18 new clients completed treatment.

Case study

“I decided and vow myself that I ready to avoid drug and alcohol in my life time. After treatment I will follow my wife and working with her and to build home sweet home in my life”