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DARE for All Family Project, Thai-Burma border

2007-06-01 ~ 2008-05-30
Agency: DARE – Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education
US$25,000

Thousands of refugees from Burma have lived confined to the camps in Thailand for 20 years. Thousands have been born in the camps and never left. For the vast majority of them, the only way of life they have ever known is one forced to be dependent on outside assistance. For many young refugees, refugee camps are where they were born and where they grew up, and the only reality they have ever seen exists within the fences of the camp.

The DARE for All Family Project deals with domestic violence, provides support and treatment for women, operates a youth programme and promotes relapse prevention and community responsibility.

The teams comprised of members of the refugee community carried out the following activities:

  • Support groups for women and addiction education for those living with addicts.
  • “Teens for Kids” program including teenagers at risk for addiction to work with children both in and outside the school system using sports and art as a basis for mentoring children about substance abuse prevention.
  • Continued education for addicts including gender based violence education and rehabilitation modules.
  • Support groups “Men Working with Men for Happy Families” to engage male role models in the community to educate other men about their role in Gender Based violence.
  • Help Your Neighbour campaign for families of addicts who are in treatment to help them with food, shelter, childcare and other social needs.
  • Treatment for women program – a day or residential program according to home and childcare needs.

These activities were conducted in five camps with a total population of over 100,000 people. The programme targeted about 200 people and indirectly about 1,200 including family members. Prevention education reached about 35,000 school children.

The REI team visited DARE in February 2007 and was impressed with the work they were doing. We sensed great pride where families have worked together to handle addiction.

Results

The Dare For All family and community project benefited a total of 327 participants over the 5 camps. 95 DARE workers undertook 653 home visits in various communities. 123 people were treated by addiction workers. Although getting women involved was difficult due to family duties or cultural taboo, the Support Group for Women and the Women Addiction Education groups had 1428 attendees and observed women being less adversely affected by the drug addictions of their loved ones. 1,505 youth were involved in the Teen for Kids Program through events such as ultimate Frisbee and clay expression that educate youth about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. 1,243 people attended the Men to Men program which continued in all 5 camps designating male role models to educate others about violence. The Help Your Neighbor campaigns have been showing the community the value of volunteerism. A total of 3,347 people benefited from this initiative.