By Deborah Nyambu, Nurture Smart Youth Program Kenya
I recently had the privilege of attending a Regional Conference hosted by World Federation Against Drugs, WFAD, in Nairobi Kenya.
The two day conference held on 10th and 11th of February was well organized depicting the amount of work that was put in by the organizers to make it a success.
The conference doors opened with welcome remarks from the Secretary General, Ms Linda Nilsson who was also the day’s moderator. A succession of speakers then followed with a brief discussion on the UNGASS outcome document, starting with the International President of WFAD, Mr. S Carlsson followed by remarks from Mr. Victor Okioma, the CEO NACADA. Mr. George Ochieng, the Executive Director of Slum Child Foundation emphasized on the need for prevention, education, treatment, recovery and integration work being done by the civil society and for the need to move these efforts to the next level. Creative illustrations were put across by Mr. Fayzal Sulliman, the Program Coordinator, UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa while touching on the subject of prevention. Ms. Jenna Philippe then gave us an elaborate illustration on development link to Vienna NGO Market place. A lot of knowledge was imparted here including the fact that the NGO Market place increases visibility of NGO’s work showcasing the successes of an organization. This facilitates achievement of overall organizational goals as well as helps bridge the impact gap!
Having enjoyed a scrumptious meal over the lunch hour, the afternoon began on a high note with Mr. Patrick Okwarah, the Coordinator of community Anti-Drug Coalitions of Kenya taking us through Community prevention in Kenya. We were enlightened on the importance of coalitions and how they combine talent and resources to engage communities in the sub-counties they work with. Uganda Youth Development Executive Director Mr. Rodgers Kasirye reminded participants of the need to not only share information but also keep records and documentation of projects and programs being undertaken by organizations. In order to comply and Keep up to speed with international standards participants were encouraged to maintain the good practice of documenting activities and also embracing a reading culture to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.
Mr. Boro Goic, the Chair of Recovered Users Network took us through a very elaborate talk on the importance of recovery oriented drug policies and emphasized on the need to support recovery efforts by addressing specific needs of the whole person, their family members and community.
A couple of speakers then briefly touched on different topics these being; Paul Mburu, Real Mentor Soberlife Mentorship Society, Pamela Masese, Assistant Director Probation & Aftercare Services and Antony Kangethe from Asumbi Treatment Center. Emphasis here was supporting and enhancing recovery efforts to ensure strengthened transformed individuals, families and communities.One of the participants, Dr. Jennifer Kimani, thanked WFAD for the work they are doing and especially so for bringing the conference to Nairobi, Kenya.
The conference was truly superb and left us all inspired, motivated and ready to tackle prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in our various fields to a higher level!