It all began with a dream
The story of Dreamlopments' humble beginning and its journey in implementing projects that have improved healthcare access for over 40,000 people from the marginalised communities
Dreamlopments, as a company, was registered in 2015. But its origin dates back to 2011 when Dr Nicolas Durier – a French medical doctor with years of experience in the development sector – began contemplating the idea of a health micro-insurance for migrants.
At that time, Nicolas was a consultant working on a project evaluation of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) medical services for migrants in Tak province, Thailand. Sustainability of these essential services was a concern and Nicolas, who was familiar with the concept of micro-insurance implemented in other settings and was deeply inspired by the work of Muhammad Yunus on micro-finance and social business, questioned if this concept would be applicable for migrant populations along the Thai-Myanmar border.
This idea stayed with Nicolas until, in 2014, he conducted a survey among migrant households in Tak province, and found a strong interest for the idea of a tailored insurance scheme that would allow low monthly contributions and access to multiple facilities on both sides of the border.
With a wish to pursue this project full-time, Nicolas quitted his job and founded Dreamlopments (DLP) with his wife, Yuitiang, and Dr Francois Nosten, director of the SMRU. With support from L’Initiative 5% (now L’Initiative on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) and UNICEF, DLP conducted a deeper feasibility assessment and phase of project design in 2016.
In August 2017, Dreamlopments – with high-level support from the Thai Ministry of Public Health and UNICEF’s seed funding – launched the M-FUND in Mae Sot district of Tak province, Thailand. M-FUND was designed to be a low-cost, non-profit health access fund for migrants and other populations not reached by other health protection systems.
The pilot implementation in Mae Sot was greatly successful. It confirmed the interest and needs for this health fund among migrants and communities living along the border. The project soon expanded to other areas in Tak province (2018), Myawaddy city in Myanmar and Sa Kaeo province in Thailand (2019), Sangkhlaburi and Thong Pha Phum districts in Kanchanaburi (2020 - 2021), as well as Chiang Rai province (2022), with further plan to expand M-FUND to more areas in and outside Thailand to reach more people in need.
The second initiative
With the growing M-FUND on one side,
Dreamlopments launched its second project: the C-FREE study
While M-FUND was expanding, DLP also launched C-FREE – a study on a model of community-based testing and treatment of hepatitis C for people who inject drugs and other at-risk populations. The concept of the project followed work that Nicolas had done on hepatitis C in his former job, as well as his strong desire to improve access to essential life-saving medicines for neglected patients. Following also a thorough period of design and preparation, C-FREE began its operations in 2018 and patient recruitment started in May 2019. DLP partnered with Raks Thai Foundation to launch the first C-FREE clinic in Samrong neighbourhood of Bangkok.
The sites soon expanded to other areas in Bangkok (Prachachuen with Ozone Foundation, and Phasi Charoen run now with APASS), Songkhla province (Chana district, with CARE Team), Narathiwas province (Su-ngai Kolok district, with Together Group), Chiang Mai province (with the Thai Drug User Network) and Tak province (Mae Ramat district, with Give Hope).
Dreamlopments registered as a foundation in 2019 and was certified as a social enterprise in 2020.
“We didn’t get certified as a social enterprise until 2020. But, in my mind, we were – and always have been – a social enterprise from
Day 1. A company that works for
the benefit of society.”
- Nicolas Durier -
Starting out with just Nicolas working alone in coffee shops, DLP has since grown to include over 70 employees working for DLP and its M-FUND and C-FREE projects in different regions across Thailand, as well as Myawaddy, Myanmar. It took a dream and a strong determination to pursue and develop game-changing interventions that have opened access to essential medicines and healthcare services for over 40,000 people from the most marginalised populations and their families.
Dreamlopments’ core mission is to ensure access to essential healthcare services and treatment for most marginalised communities.
Our vision is to grow both M-FUND and C-FREE beyond Thailand and make them available in multiple countries.
"Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.
If you can dream it, you can make it so."
- Belva Davis, journalist -
Awards and Grants
Dreamlopments would like to thank donors and institutions that have provided generous financial support to the realisation of both M-FUND and C-FREE:
UNICEF from 2016-2018, and the European Union through UNICEF between 2018-2020 as part of the ‘Protecting Children Affected by Migration’ project.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)’s ‘Stop TB and AIDS through RRTTR’ through Raks Thai Foundation as part of the Thailand country grant (2017-2023); multi-country grant on ‘Tuberculosis among migrants in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), I’ through UNOPS (2019-2021); multi-country grant on ‘Tuberculosis among migrants in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), II’ through IOM (2022-2024).
L’Initiative of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs through Expertise France (2016, and 2019-2024) as part of the ‘Access to Quality Health Services for Vulnerable Populations’ program.
Finalist of the European Microfinance Award 2021 on 'Inclusive Finance & Health Care'
Private individual supporters
In turning a dream into reality, we thank migrants who have given their trust in M-FUND since its early days. We also thank everyone who has participated in the C-FREE study.
We thank our team – Dreamlopments, M-FUND and C-FREE staff – who have collectively ensured the smooth operation of our organisation in order to provide healthcare access to those who need it most.
Our donors, named above, have had a critical role in providing essential financial support that has been and is still needed for the realisation of our projects. DLP is grateful for your ongoing support.
We also wish to thank all of our operational partners – from the Ministry of Public Health to local healthcare facilities and other organisations – who have contributed to and supported the implementation of our projects.