Member Activity

At the 59th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs WFAD arranged, together with Active, Uganda Youth Development Link and African Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention, a side event called: Voices from the youth - protect the future. The event aimed to bring African Youth Voices to the CND to show effective prevention models and how NGOs are working to protect children in accordance with the Rights of the Child to be protected against illicit drugs. Below you can find the statement form Brother Paul Mburu form the organization Soberlife Mentorship Society, an organization working in the slums of Nairobi, given at the side event.

Ladies and Gentlemen, greetings this afternoon,

It is my honour to present my humble contribution to this side event today. My presence here was made possible by the World Federation against Drugs and I thank Linda here on behalf of the organization. My name is Brother Paul as I am usually identified in the communities where I work. I represent a small grass-root initiative called the Soberlife Mentorship Society based in Nairobi Kenya.

Before I give my submission, I wish to share in this forum a portion of my life which is the basis of my contribution in this session.

2016 is a highlight year for me. It marks exactly ten years since I last smoked the last marijuana roll, mixed with lethally intoxicating liquors. For the decade I had been in addiction, this is a summary of what I went through:
  • Running away from home due to conflicts with the family
  • Wasting six full years of education between high school and college
  • Engaging in crime and peddling with friends some of whom died or were banished in prisons. I too was remanded but later given a pardon.
  • Continuous use led to extreme health effects including mild tuberculosis, hallucinations and dread. Some of the effects still linger today.
  • Due to the emptiness within me and a search for identity, I joined the Nyahyabingi Rastafarian Movement whose paradise is in Shashamane Ethiopia. I reared dreadlocks in accordance to the requirements and also increased consumption of weed.
  • Finally, when everything failed to give the liberty from the chains of addiction and the risks I was exposed to, I decided to end my life on the 10th of August 2006 through poison ingestion.

I believe I did not die but have lived to tell this forum the great calamity haunting your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and humanity at large. While listening to the many presentations going on in the greater Conference, it seems there is a deliberate attempt to pull the people of this world and youth in particular into opinions and lifestyles that are absolutely contrary to their needs.

Within the Kenyan context there are four major issues which I will share as being most important. This was also presented to the CSTF regional meeting which was held in Nairobi and was purely based on the social, economic and cultural realities of our region.

  • Comprehensive prevention initiatives to be formulated and implemented targeting the pre teenage, teenage and early youth groups, the population at the highest risk of initiation or those in the early initiation into drugs. Primary prevention remains and will remain the only sure way of dealing with drugs. We stand for complete harm deterrence through prevention against the so-called harm reduction which we know does not reduce any harm. It is a means of more harm generation through encouraging ‘clean methods’ for drug users to ensure sustainability of their habits. Offering clean syringes for instance does not make injection drugs clean. And more so, in the African reality, HIV/AIDS is more than 70% spread through risky sexual behaviours and not shared syringes use.
  • Treatment and comprehensive rehabilitation for those already affected by the habit. In this perspective, CSOs to advocate to their respective governments to establish affordable rehabilitation facilities or work with private institutions to ensure services are accessible to all. This should be expanded to hospitals, prisons and juvenile centres where most of the users are found. These should be made corrective centres that can help bring a behaviour change to those who are affected. Clear punishment should be outlined with severe consequences on producers and traffickers. 
  • Re-integration of recovery and recovered people back in the community. This is in two phases: Carrying out an awareness in the community of origin of those affected by drugs to be ready to accommodate the ones being re-integrated by creating a stigma free environment. On the other hand, those being re-integrated to be empowered economically through creation of investment opportunities to enable them be engaged, motivated and avoid the risks of easy relapse. Youth empowerment programs must be at the heart of every African government to realize any development and sustainability of the State.
  • There should be a review of the family institution and emphasis on stable families. It is universally acknowledged that the family is the single most important institution in shaping up individuals. As we speak about ‘juvenile delinquency’ we should also spend time speaking on parental delinquency. The African society is currently facing a generation conflict emerging from 1970s parents who were born in the traditional, religious and morally conservative conditions against the 1990s generation of children born in the new world order of rights, liberties and technologies. This has created a huge social conflict, causing many parents to disregard children at their hour of great need while children, left without their primary mentors turn to rebellion and juvenile lifestyles. The problem has also been aggravated by absentee fathers whom children need especially boys entering teenage years.
  • Parenting skills within the acceptable social, political and cultural backgrounds of the African must be strengthened in order to bring up responsible youth who will shun influences and challenges, not only on drug use but other issues such as esteem, sexuality and general development.

Soberlife Mentorship Society stands for every effort and strategy that promotes primary prevention, care, rehabilitation, recovery and re-integration.

We have a duty to protect the society from all forms of enticements and intimidations that are only meant to enrich a clique of people while destroying humanity’s most essential investment; the youth. For those who mean well, let’s join hands in this great initiative regardless of our backgrounds or limited resources; and let the passion to mentor and make a lasting impact to the youth be our driving gear.



Thank you

Your experience is essential in the UNGASS preparatory process. The Survey on Youth is part of the global civil society consultation for UNGASS 2016. We want to voice the opinions of young people, and assess civil society work worldwide, related to youth and drugs. You can reply to the survey either as an individual or an organization.

Your input will provide the Civil Society Task Force with invaluable information to bring to global policy makers at the United Nations, for the UNGASS preparation and beyond. You can access the survey through this link:
https://ungasscstf.typeform.com/to/chdS8x

If you have questions or want to know more about the voice of the young people in the UNGASS process, please contact the youth representative in the Civil Society Task Force, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it from Active - Sobriety, Friendship, Peace.

More information about the UNGASS process can be found here, and here you can find more information about the involvement of the Civil Society in the process.

 

DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF MOST AT RISK CHILDREN TO THE FORTHCOMING  UNITED NATION GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION (UNGASS) ON THE WORLD DRUG PROBLEM IN NEW YORK 2016

Definition


Most at risk Child: Any child who stands the risk of being exposed to Narcotics as per UNCRC definition, which states that; “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances”. More so street children and children living in the rural and poor urban settlements

We, the children gathered today for the children convention on illicit drugs on 26th of September 2015 In Nairobi, Kenya do declare as follows:
  1. Taking note of the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49 that children are protected from illicit drug through all means to ensure global Drug- free goal in both prevention and treatment. 

  2. Affirming that most at risk children are equal to all other children and state parties should ensure that they recognize and protect them from all sorts of illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as stated in article 33 of the United Nation children right convention, and to be respected as such like any other child. This shall mean that the ambition shall be a drug free environment also for children at risk, in line with Article 33.

  3. Guided by the purposes and principles of the United Nation Children right Convention, and UNICEF’s child protection policy from 2008, and commitment by state parties in the fulfillment of the obligations in accordance with the Convention, commit not to allow legalization (occasionally referred to as decriminalization) of possession of drugs for personal use, as the net effect of such sanctions is often harmful to society more so children and especially most at risk, and if allowed by state parties will lead to breaching of the UN drug conventions, by facilitating illicit drug use among first world citizens at the expense of a drug free environment for children there, as well as an increased risk that third world children will be recruited for illicit production and trafficking, described in ILO Convention 182 as among the worst forms of child labour.

  4. Convinced that Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is the only core UN human rights convention that capture illicit drugs and need not to be changed as there is no mistake in the meaning and intention of CRC Article 33. 

  5. Affirming also that all children more so most at risk if protected from Narcotics will contribute to the wellness, diversity and richness of cultures, which constitute the common bond and growth of many societies globally,

  6. Affirming further that all United Nations state parties should come up with doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating priority attention to children’s rights as per CRC in policy making, including drug policy, as per CRC Article 3, particularly considering that those at risk are protected from illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances

  7. Recognizing the urgent need by state parties to respect and promote the right of children and remain committed to so without allowing political, economic and social structures influence from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, 

  8. Recognizing also the urgent need by state parties to respect and promote the right of children from drugs by ensuring they have an affirmative and essential right to drug-free childhoods as stated in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with other States and international bodies,

  9. Reaffirming that children more so the most at risk, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind, thus the need by state parties to take appropriate measures to keep them free through all means from illicit drugs.

  10. Recognizing in particular that there is no any convention that allows nonmedical and recreational use of illicit drugs as a protected lifestyle choice, state parties should commit not to come up with any convention that will allow this

  11. Emphasizing that undefined concepts such as “war on drugs”, “harm reduction”, “de-criminalization” etc shall be left without attention until these have been defined..

  12. Welcoming the fact that international drug policy debates at the moment in the world should change focus more to children than Adult since they have been overshadowed by the moral and legal obligation to protect them from drugs more so those at risk since Drug use most commonly starts in adolescence.

  13. Emphasizing that the United Nations should urge their international partners and donors to avail more funding to Fund practical implications on drug policy, advocacy and lobby to children more so those at risk, and avoid employing celebrities with a record of drug transgressions as Goodwill Ambassadors.

 



 

The book, ‘Chasing the Scream’ by Johann Hari, is being promoted world-wide by a strong pro-drug lobby. This article is a snapshot of a more detailed critique being published in the ‘Quadrant’ in November. Those who have the health and well-being of our communities (and especially our emerging generations) will do well to read this and the complete article. They will then be better positioned to judge for themselves the best course of future action we need to take to prevent illicit drugs from spreading.

Some quotes from the Critique article are:

“Hari’s approach is not limited to the underhanded titling all illicit drug policy ‘a war on drugs’, but rather a far more explicit, creative rewriting of drug policy history, manufacturing an illusion that the historic international agreements prohibiting the recreational use of opium, heroin and cocaine in 1912 and of cannabis in 1925 are really all the work of one dishonest US bureaucrat, Harry Anslinger. 

That Anslinger led the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 through to 1962, commencing years after these agreements were established, does not deter Hari from rearranging history to suit his thesis that ‘Anslinger treacherously beguiled and bewitched the entire world into prohibiting the very drugs which Hari believes are largely beneficial with significantly less harm than alcohol or tobacco’.

To make this thesis work Hari has to creatively unhinge his creative assertions from verifiable fact, fact that is eminently verifiable (given every Anslinger file from his 32 years at the Bureau is still archived at Pennsylvania State University). 

Hari’s treatment of Anslinger commences with, “From the moment he took charge of the bureau, Harry was aware of the weakness of his new position.  A war on narcotics alone—cocaine and heroin, outlawed in 1914—wasn’t enough.  They were used only by a tiny minority, and you couldn’t keep an entire department alive on such small crumbs.  He needed more.” 

Such a creative rearrangement of history ignores the fact that Anslinger, when commencing his work in 1930 at the Bureau, did everything he could to avoid the public hue and cry led by various newspapers and legislators in the Southwest regarding the use and effects of marijuana.  Anslinger maintained that cannabis was not being imported as was opium or cocaine, but rather domestically grown, and should therefore be controlled by each State rather than the Federal Government’s 1914 Harrison Act.  It was not until 1937 that Anslinger begrudgingly acceded to pressure, a very different reality to Hari’s inversion of facts to suit his emotionally appealing but fanciful polemic which carefully avoids the reality of how and why these prohibitions were initially instituted.

Along with previous legalisation apologists, Hari ridicules Anslinger’s views concerning cannabis harms, particularly his promotion of cannabis as a cause of drug-related violence and madness.  Despite the lampooning of the lobby there is now a copious science indicating a dose-response relationship between cannabis and psychosis with a February 2015 Lancet study finding that daily users of high THC cannabis have a fivefold risk of psychosis.  Previous studies had indicated a doubling of psychosis risk from lower THC cannabis use. 

Studies in 2003 by Niveau & Dang and in 2007 by Howard & Menkes have investigated the effect of cannabis on a particular neural mechanism controlling impulse and found a connection with violence and aggression.  It stands to reason that the lowering of inhibitions via intoxication will create a greater expression of violence in those so predisposed, whether by alcohol or cannabis.  In the Geneva Convention discussions of 1925, the Egyptian delegate M. El Guindy implored the prohibiting of cannabis on the basis of ‘madness’ associated with its use, but also that its intoxication ‘takes a violent form in persons of violent character.’   Contrary to Hari’s assertions, Anslinger was never alone in linking violence and madness with cannabis use and modern science exposes Hari’s scorn. 

There are significant lessons that can be drawn from the elevated use of drugs due to their legality.  Clearly, a society can ill-afford any drug use becoming entrenched since reversing widespread use and acceptance comes at an exorbitant cost.  Also, our experience with tobacco teaches that educating the public about its real harms has inevitably caused an increased disapproval of tobacco users, which has been a factor in reducing use.  Hari appears to recognise this when he states that ‘As a result of this policy where tobacco is legal but increasingly socially disapproved of, cigarette smoking has fallen dramatically.”  He fails to recognise the contradiction, though, between the positive impact of what is effectively a stigmatisation of tobacco users, and his advocacy for the removal of any stigma from illicit drug use.  Little does he seem to recognise as an apologist for illicit drugs that there inevitably will be a stigma on any activity that presents gratuitous harms to any community, and it is a stigmatisation which works to stifle recruitment of new users and the further expansion of drug use.  Hari cannot have it both ways.

There is another lesson to be drawn from tobacco use where the harms have been advertised and are so well known.  Despite the millions put into prevention and education, the uptake by teens and early-twenty year olds of such a senseless habit still continues.  With no more glamorous advertising to sell the product, tobacco companies still continue due to current users recruiting new users.  All this with a legal product as irrational as heroin.  It is therefore not the prohibition of the illicit drugs that chiefly drives their expansion, as Hari alleges, because as with tobacco, users recruit new users for reasons other than supporting their own habit”. 

Jo Baxter 
Vice President World Federation Against Drugs
Executive Director, Drug Free Australia 

This year, for 26 June, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Preporod celebrates nine years since it was formed. For its ninth birthday, in cooperation with the Ćano Koprivica Foundation, Preporod is advertising the:

ANTI DOP AMBASADOR 2015

for individuals, media, government institutions, associations and non-government organisations – which have contributed to the fight against abuse of psychoactive substances in the most effective or notable way.

The aim of the competition is to recognise, acknowledge and publicly encourage individuals, the media, institutions, associations and NGOs that give an example to others with their work and actions, and set standards which should be aimed for in fighting against abuse of psychoactive substances. At the same time, the aim is the reduction of stigmatisation and discrimination, as well the promotion of solidarity, acceptance of difference and taking responsibility. A no-less-important aim is to highlight the importance of this fight, bearing in mind that drug-abuse is a problem that touches everyone of us and is sometimes called the "21st century plague".

Read more on http://preporod.me/index.php?lang=mn

In the period from 26th June,2014  till today NGO Preporod was the address where nearly 100 people from all over Montenegro soak for help in different services that Preporod offers.

We will continue to look for the best solutions and methods in order to influence the reduction of the number of addicts and have impact on our society to be healthier. It is important to be conscientious and aware and to act in that way without prejudices and with clear understanding that our acting is never neutral, even our non-acting leads to extension of state as it shouldn’t be. To those that are affected by the disease help and care are necessary not only today, when everyone speaks about that, but every day.

Thanks to everyone who has in any way influenced that our struggle become successful and helped Preporod to be positioned where it is now.

Let’s go on!
On the plane to Vienna my mind was full of expectation especially in my prevention work, Bundle of joy through the stream of my blood vessels with high expectation in my heart that there is something good for my work through the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs and preparation for the forth coming UNGASS.

Moments of reflection before my landing knocked hard at back of my brain and I thought hard about the voices of the poor voiceless young children I work with through Vienna Forums, they shared their expectations that they would love the world to know and be taken for consideration in the forth coming UNGASS. I checked on my note book to review what they shared with me, I asked myself how will it be possible for people to acknowledge the little known grass root and voiceless organization coming from the rubbish and neglected part of the world, this left me in dilemma.

I checked into my Hotel in Vienna, my mind was still troubled about where am going and I was so eager to step a foot into the United Nations building especially the one related to my work, Narcotics. This was a dream come true, from a chilly, freezing weather, ultra modern train to tight security check up, I made my way into the warm, nice and welcoming environment of UNODC.

Made my way to the general Assembly where the official opening was taking place, took some photos and shared with my friends and street children I work with back home that I have reached Vienna International Center the Headquarter of UNODC and their message will be delivered, messages of joy and best wishes come through.

My first assignment was being given a platform by Vienna NGO Committee to share our expectation at the forthcoming UNGASS; I knew this was my time, to deliver what I was sent to share with the world. When I saw my name printed and a chair reserved for me, I had several heat beats and to some extend I was nearly declining the offer but the inner push from the voices of this children gave me courage to move ahead and take the mantle to air their voices. It was a honor to sit in the platform to share the voices, but much was still ahead, many people encouraged me for the good work and urged me to keep the fire burning.

Walking into the side event organized by WOCAD and Koffi Annan Foundation I had too much expectation and knew something good would come out for the poor children globally more so Africa. Through the presentation made I knew there was hope especially when former president of Nigeria took to the stage. Through the speech I felt hit hard when he mentioned prevention has failed, this meant that my work in the streets with kids is in vain.

If my work was in vain, then why did drug cartel vandalize our offices in the slums? Why did drug cartel attack us and pushed us into forceful eviction from our place in the slums? They were losing and they recorded lose from our stand of telling children the truth and keeping them off from drugs and the only way to win us was to divide and separate us from the children I work with, so that they can spread fiction to children to buy their products, that cause more harm than good.

When this was running through my mind the former president was through with his presentation, I wanted an audience to tell him that prevention has not failed and ask him how they can protect poor grassroots organization like mine from the so called “big fish” who have not been feeling ok in our prevention work down in the slums of Korogocho and the entire world. I was bold and courageous to ask Mr. president my question adding that I come from the slums, which many people who come from similar background fear sharing, My question was answered but not to my satisfaction, this left me with question mark who will the poor children in the slums turn to for protection against Narcotics?

I thought I was the only offended in my prevention work and looking forward for the next day there were side events on prevention, I was eager to know and look at the best experience that I could take home. I attended the prevention side events and I knew there is hope for me and the people working in the field of prevention.

Attending side event organized by WFAD, IOGT and slum Child foundation was a great opportunity to share with the world how we have been hit hard by drug cartel who are for treatment not prevention, through the session I was able to know how legalization of marijuana has had effects in different parts of the world. Immediately I had a mental reflection of how things would look like in the slums if Marijuana could be made legal.

On Friday was my last day to be at the Vienna International Center, I thank God that I was selected to air the views of the grassroots organization through the platform of Market place to the world and I thank Michele Perron for the Idea and VNGOC / UNODC for implementing the idea and looking forward for the big launch next year during UNGASS. For me I thought such platform would be meant for big organization and small or grassroots organization would have no voice especially during big event such as the 58th CND and the forthcoming UNGASS.

Before I left Vienna I shared with colleagues from Africa to have a consortium of Organization working in the field of Narcotics so that we can have one united voice on matters related to subject of discussion and I have developed everything in place. Pan Africa Substance Abuse Consortium (PASAC) is rolling down, special thanks to UNODC, VNGOC, WFAD and others for making this happen.


By George Ochieng
Slum Child Foundation

2015-03-11 09.45.50
We young people are the losers if you legalize cannabis

Big business sees an opportunity to make money on cannabis legalization – they want to make profits while we, the young, and society at large will bear the real costs.

It has been claimed in the Swedish debate that the first step to achieve a sustainable drug policy is to have an open and objective debate. The Swedish Youth Temperance Organization, UNF, agree completely. We need a debate based on facts and a debate that also listens to young people.

We agree that there is no need to exaggerate the negative impacts of cannabis and it only lowers credibility when adults tell horror stories. Young people prefer reasonable arguments and evidence based information. For example one study of Meier et al. that followed over 1000 person for almost 40 years. It is one of several new studies that show that smoking cannabis while young will decrease several functions in the brain and will lower IQ. We need to listen to research, there is clear and solid evidence that cannabis can damage IQ and memory, impair motor skills and lead to addiction. The proven effects are foremost connected to the young brain. We are the ones with the most to lose if cannabis becomes legal and accepted in society.

As many cannabis advocates point to alcohol is a legal drug and is accepted as a natural part of life – sometimes also for the young. The benefit of legalization of cannabis is often argued by claiming that it will decrease the consumption of alcohol and other drugs, this is not true. UNF works daily to break the norm around alcohol and we struggle to make the adult world take responsibility so no adults provide alcohol to young people. No one is happier than UNF if we can discuss the negative impact of alcohol among young people and in society as a whole.

But trying to exchange one drug with another is doomed to fail. Surveys show that young people who smoke cannabis also drink more alcohol. The best way to protect youth from the harms of drugs in an evidence based way, as many in the debate claim they want, is to focus on low availability and high prices.

The idea that a restrictive drug policy is in conflict with humane and effective treatment is also wrong. A restrictive policy leads to fewer persons in addiction and more resources to help and treat those who need support from society. The ones who benefit from a legalization of cannabis are not the persons with addiction or the young. It is big companies and entrepreneurs who see the opportunity to make money on the cannabis industry. That is the reason why George Soros gives millions of US dollars to advocacy organizations to work for legalization in the US. They want to get the profit while the young and society will pay the price.

The creation of a legal industry around cannabis will not help people with addiction. But there is a lot more Sweden can do and UNF wants to be a part of the work for improved addiction treatment. We are convinced that our treatment centers will not have an easier task if there are more legal substances available and more people with addiction.

Young people like us are not naïve, and our voice should be heard in the debate on cannabis. The loud proponents of cannabis legalization are often young but the majority of young people see the risks with cannabis and want cannabis to stay illegal. In a Swedish survey only 14 percent of people under 30 answered that it should be legal to smoke cannabis.

Alcohol, cannabis and other drugs are vital issues for young and decriminalization and legalization is not the solution. A continued restrictive policy together with improved treatment and preventive measures are important initiatives supported by experience and research. Sweden as well as other countries can do more and we in UNF are willing to join and fight for this, together with as many young people as possible.

Malin Thorson

President, Swedish Youth Temperance Organization (UNF)

malin pressbild
The testimony below is from a person at the rehabilitation centre "Cenacle of the Son of Man", one of WFAD's member organizations. 

I was born 1980 with a clear mind and an angel heart as every child in this world. I lived a quite nice life under a free blue sky. Fifteen years passed in the blink of an eye full of excitement and ambition. In 1996 a girl came into my life and changed every dream and every thought in my daily agenda. At that time all I was thinking about was wake up every morning and see her beside me.
 

For her, I was simply a guy with needs. But she changed my life and turned it into unbearable hell. With her, I discovered marijuana for the first time iy life. She was so proud of herself, so proud of the life of addiction that she made a long term commitment with Lucifer and chose me to be her partner. I believed her and never realized that such an innocent and beautiful girl could act so badly with such an amount of lies.  

Few years later, in 2000 I went with her to a cocaine binge party at her friend. She soon disappeared.   A week later, I heard from a friend that she died from a drug overdose.  lost all my hope and my journey to hell began. Three years of struggle after her death, I decided to travel to Far East saying to myself that this could be a cure so my life would be back on track again. But I was wrong.  

There, I learned crack and speed and free base, the most dangerous drugs of them all which blacked out my mind and destroyed my life more than ever. Deep inside, I knew that this was wrong, I couldn’t trust myself anymore and always found a reason to escape by taking drugs. After all I was lying to myself with no sympathy. So I started praying every day and night asking God to release me from devil inside me but my prayers weren't answered. 

2007, I started my new business  and  succeeded to make good money but the problem I faced was how to keep all this money with drugs addiction possessing  my life and  pushing me to  lose the trust of my family and friends.  

Every night , I used to lay down on my bed and  hear myself saying silently: "I want to stop" from the bottom of my heart, then the voice of my other self, my bad self, said no and sometime me and my bad self used to have endless conversation, sometime  my good self won sometimes my bad self did. Life is so short, how can I live this desperate life with my family?  

Of course, I couldn’t let them catch me and they will never understand... How could they? The only way to make them understand is to tell them the truth but I couldn’t. 

I was living my life in the fast laneand it surely made me lose my mind and made me reach the last limits.  

Every day and every night I used to ask myself in bed and tried to imagine what it looks like to be normal? How can I change my life again? I can’t even remember when the last time I was normal. I was longing to have a normal life. I didn’t want anybody to know how different I was.  

27/8/2007 I was arrested for almost 28 days for drugs use.  What a nightmare! Years and years of struggle, I could not find my way to the light... Dark thoughts... Nightmares… Lies… It had been a long hard trip but after all I was alive praying every day. It is said that living is higher perfection than being, and understanding is higher than living. 20 years of drugs addiction and lies I didn’t gain anything from it. Moreover, I was losing all my friends and family members one after another.  

2013 I decided to stop so I took a real decision to change and have a good life, a new life just like a new born child. My father and mother sister and brother supported me and gave me   mental support, month after month from shrink to another but they unfortunately failed. Nevertheless, my prayer   didn’t stop and I was asking God desperately to help me. 

2014, I realized the truth that drugs are illusion and I could gain nothing from it. It was like a frightening dream somehow, I was alone... it was very dark... I grabbed through stifling blackness, trying to find a light but all I found was darkness.  Darkness and the sound of my own breathing, harder and harder as I was grabbed more and more madly through the darkness. 

Once, I heard myself saying: Lord is greater than I can see so I prayed to change my life forever and will never be afraid to close my eyes. It’s hard to know where you are going if you can’t know where you have been  

Here I am standing in front of you my friends and brother in life with my story  as a Muslim in a Christian  Rehabilitation Center where I feel no difference in treatment and believe. “St. John says: when God shall appear, we shall be like to him because we shall see him as he is.” If you wish to attain to his likening to God in our heavenly country you must take pains to be linked to him in good works here on earth: Jesus Christ came to send peace upon earth. “Thomas Aquinas writer 

And I feel that I was recovered from my thoughts and my daily life and I have new vision in life from my experience. I think it is enough to look forward and begin to live for tomorrow and save my soul before it is too late. 

 
SLum Child Foundation is every year arranging a Student convention on Drugs, this year the convention gathered 250 students, both boys and girls. 

The Student convention is an open forum for high school students more so the girls from poor urban settlements in Kenya to come together and share on the best methodologies to curb the menace of drugs with key focus on social and psychological challenges they face in high school with other stakeholders in drug and substance abuse related fields. Through the convention which will is held annually the participants will get to learn and be in a position to engage the speakers in a plenary session with questions and sharing ranging from social to policy based in the fields of drugs and substance abuse.

The Convention seeks to create awareness to young girls in from the major poor urban settlements, otherwise known as slums in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose is to address the many issues affecting girls both in and out of school that include but not limited to school dropout, poor performances in school among girls, prostitution, teenage marriage and pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and many more just but to mention a few.

The 2014 Convention managed to reach 250 participants, both boys and girls. A few girls went home with sanitary towels that were enough to take them for a term.

At the Convention Slum Child Foundation also handed out the Smart Girl Award. It is an initiative that aims at identifying, recognizing and awarding the efforts of young girls in schools from the slums, who are determined to go an extra mile and leave no stone unturned for the sake of helping other girls and to overcome the challenges they are facing as a result of poverty in the slums with regards to education and social life. It is the second year that Slum Child Foudnation is handing out the award. Convention 2014

On August, 23, Kevin Sabet made an excellent presentation by the title: “The Impact of Drug Legalization”. He showed the latest data on the negative effects of the Colorado´s State drug policy and presented shortly the main points of his book “Reefer Madness – the Seven Myths about Marihuana”
Kevin Brazil
The event took place at the impressive São Paulo State Palace called “Palacio dos Bandeirantes” in front of an audience of about 1500 people with an impeccable organization. The initiative and all the coordination was undertaken by Dr. Ronaldo Laranjeira of UNIAD, which is a WFAD member contributing to counteract the misinformation done generally by the Brazilian Press on issues regarding drugs.

Kevin’s presentation was informative and useful to all those who strive for a society with no drug use, because it showed everyone in the audience that NO DRUG Legalization is the way to go.

Although I live far away from São Paulo, I attended the Conference in São Paulo, in my capacity of Prevention Director of ABRAD (a member of the WFAD) and as President of BRAHA- Brazilian Humanitarians in Action, thanks to the encouragement of ABRAD President, Jorge Jaber.

At the event strong and clear messages were conveyed by Jose Serra, Ex-Governor of São Paulo and ex-Minister of Health and now a candidate for the Brazilian Senate, as well as by two other State Secretaries of São Paulo. The interview on Brazil’s biggest news site, here, received about 20 million clicks.

Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky, WFAD Board member

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