Drug users who have entered a new programme designed to get them off drugs and offer them the chance of a normal life, are making positive comments about the scheme.
A 42-year-old father of three, referred to by the alias “Nont”, said that he now thinks he can cook for a living as he practised making dumplings at the 310th Military Circle’s Wiwat Phonlamueang School in Tak province. Instead of going to jail, he was sent to the school to undergo drug rehabilitation, as the court decided to give opportunities to drug abusers who have not committed serious offences.
The rehabilitation programme takes four months and is designed to help addicts kick their habit. In order to help drug abusers find proper occupations, the programme includes one month of vocational training.
Nont is among those registered for a dumpling-making course.
Nont went on to say that dumplings are easy to make and only require a small investment fund and a few tools, so he thinks he can make a living out of it.
Pae, 22, (not his real name) is also very happy about the vocational training during his drug-rehabilitation programme. “While I am cooking, there’s nothing else in my head. I can only feel happiness,” he said.
He has been training at a big restaurant in Tak’s Muang district for three days to learn how to prepare and cook steaks from scratch.
Lamphun province native Joe, 23, (not his real name) said he loved working at a restaurant and cooking, so this would be his future job.
The vocational training method is seen as being not only good for the participants and their families but also the country. The Quality Learning Foundation (QLF) now plans to join with the Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna Tak in organising vocational training, not just for drug-rehabilitation participants but also decommissioned reserve officers.
The scheme presents vocational skills for 12 jobs including builders, machinists, welders, electricians, air-condition repairmen, audio system installation and repair mechanics, truck drivers, executive chauffeurs, automobile mechanics, bakers, organic vegetable farmers, steak cooking, and snacks-making.
There are more than 100 trainees.