Written by Mithuru Mithuro Movement
Monday, 15 July 2013 22:49
MMM (Mithuru Mithuro Movement) is working hard on our mission of organizing the next AFTC meeting in Sri Lanka. We are greatly honored and so proud to have this chance to our country. The meeting will be carrying a brand new theme this time making a real change: Enriching T.C :- Keeping What Works Best - a real time phrase which compress it all. Another fabulous event we are planning at the moment is to have our Life time Achievement Award Ceremony in the same day. It will be a very valuable event which will express a clear and thoughtful message to the society.
The AFTC meeting will be in the end of October and we are hoping that it will be a great success to the peak. Talking about the other branches of the mother center Mithuru Mithuro, Senehasa, Nivahana, Nidahasa and Nisansala are rehabilitating a vast number of young people at the moment and it is in a great success.
All the currently cycled programs are running in a spiritual path that truly touches the curious young mind. In Additionally we have started meditational programs which gives us tremendously pleasing compliments from everyone. Buddhist philosophy is our key subject in every successful step we keep ahead.
Written by Rogers Kasirye
Sunday, 23 June 2013 19:00
This is a transcript of Rogers Kasirye's lecture during the webinar last Wednesday. Rogers Kasirye is a Board Member of WFAD, representing Africa. He is also Executive Director of Uganda Youth Development Link.
Good afternoon ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for accepting to listen to my presentation and to WFD who enabled this to happen.
The East African region : Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi – members of the East African Community (EAC) southern Sudan. All these countries are low income resource. Most of the population ns over 60 percent young characterized with high levels of poverty.
Illicit drugs use:
Illicit drug use has been increasing in East African region.
This region now is source, consumer, suppliers and transit route especially from Middle East countries of Asia to Africa and Europe. High level consumption has been noticed, mainly using cannabis, hard drugs like heroin and cocaine have also been reported. Thus, youth face many risks arising out drug use including HIV/AIDS; its on set may imply many challenges associated with drug use. East Africa has the highest numbers of HIV/AIDS infections in the world according WHO.
Population affectedyoung people are majorly affected .
We see new cases of IV drug use, pockets using hard drugs, schools related violence. High risk populations include slums and street children, unemployed youth in slums major (Kibera Mathere as well as in Mombasa in Kenya, Dar es salaam Tanzania , sex workers, students, rural forks who are employed.
What do we see being applied to prevent illicit drugs use?
First of all interventions are varied dependent on resources, knowledge of interventions, most are project based and may not based on sound or evidence based principles.
· Most prevention efforts rely / depend on schools to reach young people and sometimes of their families as yet most young people are out of schools.
· Parent’s intervention a just emerging like the recently launched material Smart parents on www.uydel.org. Which recognize that the family environment plays an important role in shaping young peoples attitude towards drug abuse? And increasing a range of protective and risk factors.
· NGOs and Faith based organization do the bulk of prevention work in the communities especially in urban centre true there is a proliferation of Community based organizations attempting to reach drug users. (Trying all sorts of interventions such as life skills, DARE, AA and many others, quite often non interactive and use classroom formats. Most programs are not shaped on the needs within he community and there is a lot of generalization. Most of these interventions have not been evaluated in the past we cannot tell the level of efficacy.
· Nature of experience and science varies, minimal impact is observed since standards of delivery appear a challenge.
· Regional distribution of prevention work varied both in international commitment and intervention distribution. Countries which have put in place laws such Kenya in 1994 and \Tanzania have well developed operational mechanism. But there is leaning towards law enforcement and seizure and lesser on treatment.
· Prevention is still weak, done at once with no follow ups, with fewer capacity buildings for staff. There is still too much focus on abstinence, less interaction and participation of beneficiaries and more classroom settings.
· Co- related issues presented by population affected by drugs such HIV/AIDS/risk / sex work, unemployed/homelessness.
· Children are still being sent in prisons because of use of drugs but receive no help. Where here is no help and rehabilitation.
Prevention which is child centered not user centered strategies
Why we are thinking more about prevention
1. Prevention is cheap- low
2. Targeting young children who are malleable until age 21years
3. Costs of treatment high and countries region cannot afford.
Prevention science has made a lot of progress and now we have a sense of some effective interventions thus in East Africa we should embrace some of these good innovations.
In prevention in East Africa we need to
· Raise awareness and increasing knowledge through communication and how this can be applied. Especially about protective factors especially the family support and school environments and reduce risks factors including poor decision making, peer pressure and others.
· Increase parental involvement as basis for prevention and target children when young. Parents need to know to respond when drug abuse is involved, how to communicate, and nature of parent life styles and help children take life health decisions and how to support them.
· Students and schools are confronted with illicit use of drugs therefore school based programs need to be designed to intervene early both in academic performance and social stress life inn varying degree depending on age and develop other competence skills such as communication , assertiveness, resistance skills anti drug characteristics. Youth themselves who are confronted by peers to try out these drugs; supply chain targeting young people. Young people who want to experiment drugs.
· Promote youth interactive programme in community aimed at the general populations who may not be reached in schools use of drama, sports; peer sessions, use of posters, group session which make teaching fun time.
· Counselling and developing skills, resistance, peer pressure, relapse to address all forms of drug abuse both legal and illicit drugs including solvents which are wide spread use Amount Street and slum youth.
· Lifestyles without drugs- Sports, music, clubs
Also note that in prevention
· Role of Media -Concern how media portrays drug use; has a strong influence and exposure can be dangerous, sometime shows picture which support use of drugs. (TV, Internet, print, radio and music) an in East Africa Use of drugs has been closely linked with Music, football and sports betting areas which attract young people. We have seen a proliferation of use of drugs. Viewing smoking can escalates drug abuse, so we have to talk the media and youth about negative influence which comes with media exposure.
· Youth work related interventions targeting specific behaviour which may trigger drug use such as and develop strategies that focus one youth economic empowerment to address poverty, high levels of unemployment vocational skills, cash transfer and saving culture. putting intor consideration the age, gender
· Staff training taking into consideration (issues of parent, standards, and effective
· Teachers who a need to be smart to address drug prevention in schools
· Multi disciplinary and use of all professional.
· Adapting Life skills models and other new innovations about universal drug prevention programs that have come on board to prevent drug use.
· Parent and youth intervention work and these can contribute to prevention in their communities.
· We need to reach more schools with new interventions that can bring change.
· Adapt Use of latest phones latest technology (facebook, tweeter,
· Policy and legal reforms
· Professional trainings and human resources development and exposure to evidence based prevention programs and those that conform to standard.
· Address risk taking behaviour and design more social and economic empowerments for schools and youth who are out school
Written by Slum Child Foundation
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 13:15
I am so saddened by the emerging trend being put in place by drug cartels with the worse hit victims being children and youths especially from the slums. According to Kenyan local daily Newspaper, the Nairobian I have been able to note that drug barons especially in the field of marijuana have emerged with a new trick for their clients to abuse Bhang. The use of Bhang in Kenya according to Kenyan laws is illegal and anyone caught possessing or abusing faces severe penalties and if you are not rich you may end up dying in jail.
The most common mode of abusing bhang is through smoking, but the new method they have emerged with is using Bhang as one of the ingredients when baking cookies, brownies, muffins, chocolates or sweets. Not having the distinctive smell of the dug, makes it more difficult to tell the difference between the ordinary baked foods or confectionary and the illegal products.
According to the news paper they did they own investigations and come to know that the supply chain of these ‘weed food stuffs’ have sealed their channels of distribution and if you are not in the channel you cannot manage to buy them, a practical case was when they followed the channel and come to know the shop where the products are being sold with the help of one of the suppliers who never want his identity to be disclosed, they tried to buy but they were told the stock is out of order and asked to come the next day but they played and beat around the bush and at the end they did not manage to buy the stuff which goes for one dollar or even less than that. The only place they managed to buy one was at the local campus with the help of one of the buyers.
Their conclusion to settle on such kid of charges (prices) are based on their targeted clients who are the youths and children, it is believed that youths use these stuffs when they go for parties and outdoor activities. In these parties alcohol consumption is believed to be very low but consumption of baked stuffs is very high. The youths have been warned to be very careful on what they consume when they go out for parties or when they hang out with friends, the children too have not been spared by these warnings since they are part of the targeted chain consumers, but with the kids it is very hard to stop them not to take cookies, chocolates and sweets
Through the newspaper there is a new group that has also joined consumer chain; they are expatriates, politicians and church pastors. Pastors are believed to use them to give them energy when they stand on the pulpit to preach, what a shame for the Kenyan church leaders.
To add pain to the wound is that things that children like using such as lollipop and baobab seeds have not been spared, with the wider market being in the major slums, where they also sell them at a cheaper price for the children to afford and buy more without knowing the consequences that awaits them, all these have exposed that poor child from the slum to Bhang at a tender age, all these have left my mouth wide open asking myself where are we heading to.
As I conclude let me say my organization will not spare the rod and we too are going to embark on a mission to create more awareness to children and youths both in and out of school with the message of them being careful with what they take and if they come across a suspected supplier or suspect unusual behavior after consuming what they have bought from the streets they let us know and we are going to try and involve the authorities to see what to do and if they are going to be arrested and be released after they offer bribe as they are used to, we are going to mobilize the public to demonstrate against such unlawful behaviors to our kids, and with your support as you have been encouraging us to keep on and on, we know we will make it.
Written by Saul Takahashi, Human Rights Lawyer
Friday, 17 May 2013 13:21
What is the international drug control regime?
The international drug control regime is based on three international conventions: the 1961 Single Convention against Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. The overarching aim of these three conventions is to control the production, trade, and use of drugs to combat drug abuse and trafficking, while at the same time ensuring that there are adequate supplies for medical and other licit uses. These conventions are widely ratified: 183 state parties ratified the 1961 and 1971 Conventions and 188 parties ratified the 1988 Convention.
WFAD-members Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development (FDID-SL) interacted with street kids at Water Street in Freetown
FDID-SL is a child and youth serving organization with a vision to see a drug free Sierra Leone with an empowered children and youthful population. On the 4th of April FDID-SL engaged street kids at the Bus Station Community with their usual drug prevention and demand reduction education message.
Addressing about sixty street kids, the Director of FDID-SL Mr. Hindowa E. Saidu encouraged the children to live a healthy life style away from drug and violence. He said drug and violence have the potential of destroying their health and rob them of a better future. He admonished the children to stay off drugs and violence, he also implored on them to visit the FDID-SL head quarters to see if they can help them to get in contact with other organizations that can assist them with their welfare.
The programme Officer for FDID-SL Mr. Habib T. Kamara pleaded with the children to stop risky practices as it might land them into prison or deteriorate their health. Speaking on the hazards and disadvantages of drug, Mr. Kamara informed the children that a recent survey undertaking by FDID-SL has shown that their age mates in other ghettoes across the city were losing their lives carelessly as a result of drugs. He furthered that the future of this country squarely rest on their shoulders, so they should do everything possible to protect their own lives.
Although Sierra Leone has been identified by the international community as a transit point for most hard drugs and narcotics such as cocaine to the west, the country has also endured the cultivation of illegal crops such as marijuana. In recent times, the cultivation of marijuana in Sierra Leone has seen unprecedented records with untold social and economic consequences. According to an independent survey in 2006, almost every village in especially the border regions has a huge bed of marijuana farms. In most of the cases efforts by authorities to curb this illegal activity have proved useless. Supposedly, because of the lack of proper control policies and prosecution together with connivance on the part of authorities, this stigma seem unabated and with impurity. Marijuana is trafficked across the borders of Sierra Leone to especially neighboring Guinea and Liberia on almost a daily bases. Astonishingly also because of illiteracy and poverty, the seriousness of these clandestine criminal activities is unnoticed as the locals consider it as just one form of obtaining livelihood. As a result, marijuana use is common and every day teenagers are recruited into addiction and are in fact used as sales agents in youth hideout and even schools.
"CATCH THEM WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG" is a new project lunched by FDID-SL to target the children of school going ages as well as those who drop out of school with the community drug prevention and education messages. This project will be replicated into different communities, especially poor neighborhood across the country.
A cross section of Street Kids at Bus Station Community and FDID-SL Staff
NOTE: This report was compiled by Mr. Edward N. Blake who is the Communication and Outreach Officer for FDID-SL. He can be reached on +232-78-670-222/76-804-066 or
Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development
FDID-SL being a youth serving civil society organization, working with urban youths associated with drug and alcohol abuse in Freetown, Bo and Moyamba is disturbed by the recent spate of death of young people due to consumption of improperly brewed alcohols that have proliferated the market with little or no check form the Standard Bureau or the Consumer Protection Agency.
It is with deep heart that FDID-SL observed the Funeral Rites of 16 youths formerly of Sewa Grounds who lost their lives through the Consumption of Poorly brewed alcohol. It also saddened the Executive Director and all staff members of FDID-SL to similarly observe the burial rites of ten young person’s former of New London in Bo who lost their precious lives through the intake of badly produced alcoholic drinks. These youths totaling 26 were in the prime of life who would have contributed immensely to the development of this nation.
FDID-SL is of the view that the wellbeing and development of our future leaders should be the concern of not only government but also every well-meaning Sierra Leonean. In this vein, we are calling on the consumer Protect Agency and the Standard Bureau all creatures of statute to urgently look into the production and importation of alcoholic drinks. It is our fervent belief that these institutions were created to ensure that the final consumer of goods is protected against bad and poor quality goods. It is today abundantly clear that these agencies are either not functioning or are not just up to the task of protecting consumers.
The recently published United Nations Human Development Index gives life expectancy in Sierra Leone at 48 years. This is no good news comparing this to other nations where life expectancy stands at 80 years. We are of the view that the uncontrolled production and importation of poorly brewed alcohol into our market is partly responsible for the low life expectancy. FDID-SL is of the view that the youths of this country deserve to live a dignified life wherein issues appertaining to their physical wellbeing are placed at the top of government’s priority list. A nation with an unhealthy youthful population is unarguably doomed to fail as this portion of society forms the nucleus of its working class. Youth were the ones who participated actively in the war and were equally the ones who suffered most. It therefore behooves the government through its established agencies like the Standard Bureau and consumer Protection Agency to ensure that the market is reaped off these poorly brewed alcohols in order to protect the lives of our future leaders.
FDID-SL is kindly appealing to the young people of this nation to refrain from alcohol and drug abuse as it will only lead to their destruction and subsequently undermining national developmental strides.
Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development
Written by Parents Contre la Drogue (P.C.D)
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 22:13
Parents Contre la Drogue (P.C.D) is worried about the changes in French drug policy.
Since the 1970s, the French drug policy has been based on the Law on sanitary measures to fight against drug abuse and suppression of smuggling and the illegal use of poisons from December 31st 1970. The 1970’s Act raised drugs as a "social evil”, it blames for the first time in French history the simple use of all substances classified as narcotics without distinction between soft and hard drugs, between private and public, between occasional use, regular or problematic. The law makes no distinction between the various narcotics and applies equally to each of them. In the eyes of the law, there is no difference between cannabis and heroin use, It is the same for traffic. In the early 90s, the harm reduction policy arrived in France. Risk reduction was released on July 21, 1994. This policy is largely delegated to organisations working with harm reduction or self-support. For these organisations, the prohibition and repression are doomed to fail.
The majority of these organisations argue openly in favor of the legalization of cannabis and decriminalization (see the legalization) of all drugs. This can be done thanks to huge subsidies from the government (Ministry of Health, etc.) and local authorities. The amount of grants awarded each year for these organisations represent hundreds of thousands of euros. Thanks to these grants they can create campaigns for the legalization of cannabis and injection rooms, they can invite organisations or people responsible for injection rooms as K9 European conferences in Switzerland or even, as we have seen last, test drugs at taxpayer expense (an organisation of self-support has indeed tested 50 different drugs and made the apology in a journal. This journal is part-financed by the Ministry of Health). The French press, partly composed of libertarian journalists, of course gives them full support.
The new government’s ideology is relying exclusively on these organisations and because of that the entire drug policy will be questioned. Within a few months, several injecting rooms will open in France but it does not have to stop there, we already know that Madam Minister of Health is preparing to authorize the Cannabis therapeutics. Some organisations are already asking for the distribution of heroin. And what comes after that?
Regarding our organisation, we have been fighting for many years for the prevention and especially primary prevention as a primary goal. France has for many years been one of the countries that consume the most cannabis among young people. This is partly due to the fact that there have never been real prevention campaigns in schools. Unlike many countries, parents' organisations are absolutely not recognized by the state because we reject the message of acceptance of the drug that comes with harm reduction. Because the lack of state recognition, we cannot do prevention work in schools, we do so only in private schools. I personally campaigned for over 20 years for a policy modeled on the Swedish. This policy I made known to parents at conferences and I devoted a whole chapter in my book "Cannabis: Ce que les parents doivent savoir" (eng: Cannabis: What parents need to know).
Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) conducted a series of advocacy activities between 4th to 6th March 2013 which were premised on the Declaration of the Second Congress of World Federation Against Drugs (May 2012) which called upon members to create awareness about Article 33 of the UN CRC and work with parents, children and communities to support prevention programs advocating for drug free environments. In addition, these activities are in line with Mentor Foundation International who advocates for best practice principles in prevention, especially in working with parents, schools and communities.
1.Presentation and Submission of petition to The Defence and Internal Affairs Committee of Parliament:
UYDEL petitioned the Parliamentary Committee to seek a recall of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (control) Bill 2007 that needed to be debated and enacted into law since it has remained a Bill for the last six years.
The Chairperson of the Defense Committee welcomed the timely petition and noted that the Committee would seek permission to move a Private Members Bill if the Minister of Internal Affairs does not retable the Bill in Parliament by 12th March 2013. The MPs also requested for more information about drug abuse in Uganda to enable them to come up with good proposals and laws.
A press briefing was held on 5th March 2013 and was attended by 20 journalists from both print and electronic media houses. The briefing was aimed at creating awareness about Article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which sets out to protect children from any use of illicit drugs. In addition, the Prevention Smart Parents Model was promoted and stakeholders were encouraged to use the materials as part of the interventions geared towards reduction in drug abuse problems among young people.
Below: UYDEL addresing the journalists at Ibamba Restaurant
3. Drug Abuse prevention workshop for stakeholders
This workshop was attended by 48 people from NGOs/CBOs and was aimed at increasing awareness and popularize Article 33 of the United Nations Convention of the Right of the Child (1989) among the NGO social workers, teachers and parents in Uganda; Training NGO social workers, teachers and parents on prevention of onset, identification, communication, and referral of children using narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances using Prevention Smart Parents model; Induct NGO social workers, teachers and parents in evidence based interventions (Brief and Motivational Interviewing) that help young people deal with problems and commit to change and Building the knowledge and skills base of stakeholders in becoming prevention experts in their communities.
At the end of the workshop, participants came up with a Declaration urging government to domesticate Article 33 of the UN CRC and noted that children and young offenders be directed towards compulsory rehabilitation, counseling/treatment for psychosocial support rather than incarceration.
Below: A cross section of the participants during the workshop
Written by Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky
Monday, 09 July 2012 10:09
Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky
The philosophy of Preventive Cities has as its leaders leaders in Latin America, Juan Alberto Yaria (Argentina), Guillermo Fernandez (Argentina), Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky (Brazil) and Olga Velez (Ecuador). Preventive Cities is a concept that developed through a focus on a truly comprehensive approach to drug demand reduction, from the smallest town to the largest city. And even, within a city it is possible to implement a Preventive Neighborhood, a Preventive school or a preventive workplace. If the local government, school system, sports and religious associations, social services organizations, parent groups and/ or others work together to reject drug use, trafficking and sales in their community, they can have a tremendous impact. This endeavor has developed over the years and has become the initiative of Mayors, city councils and other concerned groups who want to keep their communities safe and drug free. The most prolific examples of Preventive Cities’ achievements are from Argentina and from Ecuador .This process is an ongoing one requires close follow-up and guidance in many instances, with great participation of the local leaders involved.
From the left: Mina S. Carakushanky, Paulo Carvalho, Clarissa Garotinho, Rodrigo Maia, Guillermo Fernandez
On June 29 took place a very dense one day closed seminar for a group of 43 politicians from Rio de Janeiro State. The seminar was idealized and made possible by Federal Congressman Rodrigo Maia (who is also one of the candidates for Mayor of the City of Rio de Janeiro) after he read about the philosophy of Preventive Cities and met some professionals from several Latin American countries who are directly involved in organizing communities and spreading the knowledge about what is needed and can be done to reduce the demand for drugs.
All the seminar participants are candidates in the next October local elections, for the posts of Mayors and City Councils. Among the participants, besides Rodrigo Maia, was the candidate for Deputy Mayor, Clarissa Garotinho. The Democratas and their strong partner the Partido Republicano (to which Clarissa Garotinho belongs), want to take the drug theme into the open political discussion, even knowing that they will be the voice against a seemingly tide on the opposite side. Their strength stems from the awareness that they believe and plan to do what the majority of Brazilian families want to know and see be done.
The seminar designed and coordinated by WFAD Board member for Latin America, Professor Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky, offered information based on scientific data and concrete examples of what is happening in the world, the challenges, the opportunities and the results, for serious work for drug demand reduction. From 9AM to 6 PM, Guillermo Fernandez D’Adam, Paulo Carvalho and Mina Carakushansky presented the strength of the concept of Preventive Cities and showed the way of possible solutions to the drug problem.