Strengthening the Voice of Youth Against Addiction and Violence

$25,000 of $25,000 raised

2009-11-01 ~ 2010-10-31
Agency: DARE – Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education


The DARE Network is a local organization of trained local ethnic addiction staff and workers together with an advisory board of ethnic leaders and migrant leaders dedicated to the prevention and treatment of drug and alcohol addiction among their people, on the Thail-Burma border and inside a future peaceful Burma.

This year DARE will continue to promote the visibility of young people working to prevent alcohol and drug addiction. This work allows the teenagers to show their unity on reclaiming the social health of their communities combating domestic violence, gang violence and substance abuse while making healthy choices regarding their culture, society, education and physical health.

For the last 4 years Refugee Empowerment International has worked in partnership with DARE Network to help build community programming for families ensnared in the cycle of addiction in the refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border. DARE’s treatment has resulted in a reduction of violence in families and society and helps to build healthy individuals to counter the long-term social and mental harms of refugee life.
As a result of past effort, DARE Network’s Teens for Kids Program has become the most useful and recognizable method of Prevention Education in the refugee camps. It has been realized that the influence of the young people on their leaders and family members is more effective than that of other adults and indeed DARE Staff. Directly as a result of persuasion from their children both directly and indirectly there has been an increased use of DARE Treatment by Camp leaders and clients seeking treatment. By making the Teens program even more visible in the camps DARE hopes to ensure support from all levels of camp society and organization.

In 2009-10 DARE will use their diverse treatment programs to support the work of these young people and to help train more workers to offset the losses from resettlement of workers to third countries.
Activities planned for the 5 KAREN camps: Mae Ra Moe, Mae La Oon, Mae La, Umpiem and Noe Poe include providing Family Treatment and Addiction Training, operating a Teens for Kids program as well providing education through activities such as using traditional music on modern instruments; sharing experiences of solvent abuse; and Ultimate Frisbee.


In Mae Ra Moe and Mae La Oon, 4 Music competitions in each camp were held. These competitions were integrated with messages aboutalcohol and drug and violence prevention education. During all the music competitions, 2200 people in Mae La Oon participated in the audience and 1416 in Mae Ra Moe camp for a total of 3,616 people who learned about addiction prevention and connected to their cultural roots through the young people’s music. In addition, Ultimate Frisbee games which integrate violence and addiction prevention education messaging, were attended by 2494 members of the camp. Each tournament offered an opportunity for the young people to make statements about addiction both verbally and by their examples to all strata of the camps as the games attracted many viewers.
87 interventions were made by the DARE Teen teams in the schools and sections, in their respective camps reaching a total of 6,263 other young people, their teachers and their parents. A total of 133 clients were treated in 5 camps. Although there were only a few female clients, family members participated in the treatment of their families and many women and girls were involved estimating 5 family members per client.

Case study

Naw Christmas Htoo is a student from Noh Po camp. He had a father who drinks alcohol quite often. He joined DARE teenagers’ team. In the team, he had an opportunity to learn about addiction knowledge and how the addiction can hurt be hurt to things around him. Naw Christmas Htoo talked with his father after the education from the DARE’s about his father to stop consuming alcohol too much. After seeing Naw seriously thinking about it, Naw’s father had a change of mind and asked to get addiction treatment.