Friday, July 22, 2016

Sadili’s Girl Power Clubs Africa in a Campaign against Drug and Substance Abuse

Drug abuse. We see it in our neigbourhoods, on TV, movies, everywhere. We hear about it in music, from peers, family, and teachers. Some of us may have experienced it first-hand in some way. When it comes to this subject, there's a lot of information we get from many different sources, and it can be hard to figure out what's true and what isn't. Findings from a National Survey on Alcohol and Drug Abuse conducted by NACADA in 2012 shows that 13.3% of Kenyans are using alcohol, 9.1% tobacco, 1.0% bhang and 0.1% heroin. The survey also shows a high use of drugs and alcohol by school going teenagers. 

Over the past two weeks Sadili’s Social educators through the Girl Power Clubs Africa programme have been going around various schools in Nairobi campaigning against drugs and substance abuse. Emphasizing that peer pressure is the main cause of substance abuse, they have been advising the girls to keep away from friends that mislead them.

“Avoid Negative Peer Pressure and pay attention to who you go out with.  If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends,” advised Everlyne, a social educator at Sadili when she visited Karen C High School on 14th July 2016. “You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke bhang, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs.  You don't have to go along to get along”.

The educators also urged the girls to be careful not to let themselves be fooled by the popular notion that the use of drugs makes them look ‘cool’.

“Nowadays role models for teenagers and young adults exalt the use of alcohol and drugs which in turn make it look ‘cool’,” remarked Kevin, also an educator. “This is quite the opposite. Drugs don’t make you ‘Cool’; they make you look like a fool.”

The social educators will continue their campaign in other schools including Karama Academy, St. Catherine Primary, Nazarene primary and Olympic High School in the coming weeks. 

Girl Power Club at Karen C High School
Girl Power Clubs Africa is a leadership program focused on providing girls with a chance to learn life skills and learn to make decisions that affect their lives and their communities positively. Their work on talking to the youth about drug and substance abuse is supported by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA).

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