United States Supports Organic Farm Training at Drug Treatment Center

The training helps to strengthen the vocational training for the center and provides agricultural skills for drug addicts.

The U.S. Embassy this week is funding vocational training in organic agricultural methods for recovering drug addicts who have received treatment at Somsanga Drug Treatment and Vocational Training Center in Vientiane.

The training will help drug addicts develop their skills in agriculture and gardening, so that they may once more become productive members of their communities.

The training began on May 25 and will go through June 15, 2016.  This training is part of the project suggested by the Mayor of Vientiane Capital, H.E. Dr. Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune.

U.S. Ambassador Daniel Clune said at training that “we are happy today that we have taken these first important steps to help individuals who have fallen victim to drugs to learn new skills, to improve their own lives, and to re-enter the workforce.”

The U.S. Embassy also donated green houses and funded construction of a reservoir for the project earlier in the year.

During the short opening ceremony on May 25, the Director of Somsanga Drug Treatment and Vocational Training Center Mr. Ouseun Souliyathai said, “the training will help improve and strengthen the vocational training for the center and will facilitate the activities to improve physical and mental health of the drug addicts and will also help improve and expand the center’s vocational training and rehabilitation activities.”

Somsanga currently houses of more than 1,350 patients.  Since 1998, when the center expanded its services to assist drug addicts, the United States has assisted Somsanga with various projects, including building construction, skills training programs, vocational training, equipment for the treatment of drug users, and activities to warn the public about the dangers of illicit narcotics.