Thursday, 13 October 2016

#237bloggers4change: MOnAT Partner "The Guardian Foundation" Gives Talk About Drug and Alcohol Addiction To Different Schools Around Cameroon

Hi #glowers!

Something absolutely worth your time and worth sharing!!!

As our faithful followers already know, we partnered with The Guardian Foundation early this year in an effort to promote an attitude of "helping your neighbour" and bringing about the change we want to see in our beautiful nation. 

We have posted many activities of this NGO on our blog with Miss Face MOnAT, Mary Njiki, as our representative.

Beginning this week, The Guardian Foundation will visit many schools around Cameroon to educate the students about the disadvantages of drug use and alcohol in their message tittled "Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Addiction in Cameroon".

 Drug-related horror stories have lost their rarity in Cameroon, so much so that hardly anyone here still labours under the illusion that such incidents only occur in other countries.

The Guardian Foundation, for one, has long stopped believing that drug abuse “couldn’t happen here.”

“We always thought that drugs were for others, but today we realise this evil is more and more present in our society,” says Orock Eyong, president of The Guardian Foundation (TGF) on Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction.

“We must now muster all forces to fight it, failing which we risk losing a whole generation,” adds Orock, whose non- governmental organisation (NGO) was formed six years ago.

The Guardian Foundation's target groups are the 12 to 25-year-olds, said to be responsible for 85 percent of crime in major cities. 

Not that the countryside remains unaffected. It sometimes gets the tail end of the drug crisis in Cameroon’s towns as happened in the village of Ngomedzap, southwest of Yaounde.

When 16-year-old Nicolas Obama left Ngomedzap to attend high school in Yaounde, Amelie Obama said, he was the most promising of her four children. He was sharp in class and, unlike other youngsters who spent their holidays playing, he would help her work on the farm and fetch firewood for cooking.

Thus, it was a big surprise to her when, two years later, she learnt that he had been expelled for poor performance in class and “gross misbehaviour”. Barely two months after he returned to Ngomedzap, Nicolas shocked the village late one evening by raping and murdering his grandmother on the pretext that she had not given him food.

“What have they done to my son?” cried Amelie Obama, who had left the village after divorcing her husband and moved to Douala, the commercial capital, where she worked as a prostitute. “My son was not like this. He has been bewitched. I would rather die than live with this. Going to bed with your own grandmother and killing her? That is an abomination.”

The police said that when they arrested Nicolas, he was evidently under the influence of drugs. This was confirmed by some of his friends, who said that on the evening of the murder, he had spent hours drinking beer, imbibing about half a litre of potent local gin called ‘Do me I do you’ and smoking marijuana.

According to The Guardian Foundation, young people who fall prey to drug abuse are usually school dropouts, like Nicolas, or children abandoned by their families who spend their time roaming the streets. But, he adds, school-leavers unable to find jobs are fast joining them.

An estimated 350,000 young people who left school over the past five years are jobless.

In this Central African nation where official statistics are scarce, no one knows for sure how many people are addicted to drugs. Even though, in recent years, Cameroon has been listed among the transit points for international drug trafficking, its government appears to be turning a blind eye to this phenomenon. Presently we (Cameroon) are rated 2nd in the world in Alcohol consumption behind Poland.

Up to 20 years ago, only soft narcotics such as marijuana were known to be used here. Today, however, hard drugs are also consumed, mainly cocaine and crack imported, the authorities claim, from neighbouring Nigeria.

According to Dr. Sam Ntone, a psychiatrist at the Jamot Hospital Centre here, chronic drug and alcohol consumption leads to serious disorders including depression and other mental ailments.

“Most of the mental patients we treat, especially the youth, have a history of high alcohol intake which often goes along with drugs,” says Ntone. “About 65 percent of mental disorders in our society are associated with drug abuse.”

The police also blame narcotics abuse for much of the crime here. “Most of the criminals today are young men hardly above 25 who, before any operation, consume drugs and alcohol,” according to Superintendent Ben Nkwentamo of the Yaounde Central Police Station. “We always discover large quantities at their hideouts.”

And a report from the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs shows that substance abuse is responsible for most of the divorces and separations in the capital. The usual scenario is that the husband often goes home intoxicated, picks quarrels and beats his wife. Most of the street children here come from such homes, the report says.

THE GUARDIAN FOUNDATION believes that the best way to fight drug and alcohol abuse in Cameroon is through sensitizing and educating young people on its effects.
The organisation is taking its campaign against substance abuse to schools, where it will organize seminars for student-trainers (Facilitators) who, Orock says, will be “frontline apostles and disciples to evangelize schools and communities on the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction.”

The students it trains are encouraged to form clubs to fight addiction in their institutions using (Theater, Music, Dance, Fashion and design, Health and Debate).
Finally they intend to…

  • Ensure the application of laws to limit the uncontrolled proliferation of pubs around schools premises
  • Establish monitoring cells in schools to prevent movement of drugs and ensure the psychological care of children in distress
  • Create support and rehabilitation centers for addicts
  • Restrict the distribution of television programs that promote images and practices that undermine morality
  • Systematically draw attention of parents on deviant behaviour of their children and call them to more responsibility. 

The program kicked off yesterday at Kulu Memorial College and Kofele Luma College with more colleges to follow next week.

Stay tuned on social media as we will be sharing photos as the program continues on

Facebook @glowmonat
Twitter @glowbymonat
Instagram @glowmonat

The youth are the future of every nation. What are you doing to empower the youth around you? Are you leading the way or leading them astray?



No comments:

Post a Comment