Anti-Drug Sensitization Campaign Takes Shape In Paynesville

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The Care First Liberia, a local organization, has opened a new front for engaging the citizenry when it officially launched an anti-drug sensitization and awareness campaign, which targets the young populace.

   The program took place on Saturday, December 17, 2022 in Pipeline community, Paynesville, District #3, Montserrado County. The launch brought together stakeholders of the community, including elders, community leaders, as well as heads of religious and student groups, among others.

   Young people who abuse substances often experience an array of problems, including academic difficulties, health-related problems, poor peer relationships and involvement with crimes, which create consequences for family members, the community and the entire society.

   Giving an overview of the program, Gifty G.V. Dahn, Founder and CEO of Care First Liberia, said her organization was intensifying campaign against drug and substance abuse, with focus on children, to know their role and responsibility and draw line between them and those who are already victims.

   Dahn recounted the devastating impact of illicit drugs on the Liberian society, particularly the young generation, as she used the occasion to call on parents, guardians and stakeholders to join the fight against drug abuse, the use of drugs and other harmful substances that are increasingly affecting young Liberians.

   “It is my passion to work with young people, and I believe that they are the future leaders of the country. To see them going that way, which is not good for their life and society, we thought it wise that it is important to provide the requisite awareness that they have a role and responsibility to play in the progress of the future.

   “Since two years now we have been working on this initiative, aimed at seeing young people becoming productive. We see it as essential to draw line between children who are home not to cross over to the disadvantaged youth or ‘zogoes’ while we make efforts to win back to society the victims. We want to ensure that those who are home remain home and safe,” she added.

   Commenting more on her organization’s activity, CEO Dahn disclosed that forty youth are currently being trained by Care First Liberia in Barclay Mission and Lomax communities to be ambassadors of change. Also, she mentioned that her organization has administrators in Bong and Nimba counties.

   Delivering his keynote address and officially launching the program, Bishop Albert David Miller alarmed that drug and substance abuse has a devastating effect on the young generation which, according to him, threatens the future of the country.

   Speaking on the topic, “Effect of Substance Abuse on Young People”, he lamented the widespread abuse of drug by many young people and how such a situation is turning into a significant portion of the population, mainly youth into ‘zogoes’ or wayward.

   The National Overseer of the Universal Church of Christ emphasized the importance of  dealing with the problem of drug abuse by calling on religious and community leaders, as well as school administrators to make it a priority to be able to help the children to avoid the use of what he termed as dangerous substances.

   Bishop Miller used the occasion to call on the Government of Liberia (GOL) to do more to solve the growing challenge.

   “I am panicking by the increasing number of disadvantaged youth in every nook and corner of this country; some are even involved with crimes and prostitution. This is alarming and should draw the attention of all well-meaning Liberians who desire sustained peace and progress of this country,” the clergyman stated.

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