CITIZENS PARTICIPATION IN THE PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF ADDICTIONS
17th December 2021 marked the launch of a citizens’ campaign against addictions and delinquency in a bid to compliment the national agenda of achieving a delinquency and addiction free Rwandan society.
The citizens’ campaign started as a result of increasing numbers in addictions and delinquency. Where from Purpose Rwanda survey done in January 2021 from 110 sampled respondents, it was found out that 7/10 families have one member or two addicted to either a drug, a substance like alcohol or a behavior. And more to that, Purpose Rwanda never goes below 25 new addiction patients it receives every week in addition to the already under rehab patients.
This is worrying and is predicted to be our next pandemic, since it has caused uncountable side effects including rise in mental health crisis, school drop outs, early and unwanted pregnancies, rise in crime rates like theft, assaults, rape, even homicide), increased number of delinquents, poverty or underdevelopment, diseases and disorders, and death.
It is due to these worrying concerns that a number of stakeholders of the nation had to convene and altogether look at the best approaches of achieving a delinquency and addiction free Rwandan society. They included; the government representatives, the ministry of Health, the Ministry of Gender and family promotion, the Ministry of local government, National Rehabilitation Services, Rwanda Biomedical center, Rwanda Development Board, Nyarugenge, Kicukiro and Gasabo districts, the civil society (NGOs and religious organizations), the private sector, the diplomatic corps, the Political parties , the media, Citizens and beneficiaries’ representatives.
Mr. Mufulukye Fred, the Director General of National Rehabilitation Services who was representing the Minister of Local Government as the Guest of Honor was appreciative of Purpose Rwanda’s mission of building a Purposeful and Addiction Free generation which he stated that aligns with the national agenda and thanked Purpose Rwanda for the job well done.
Mr. Mufulukye, the DG/NRS further stated that with all citizens and stakeholders involved including family level participation, we will for sure achieve a delinquency and addiction free Rwandan society given great challenges that we have solved in the past as a nation. He thereafter officially launched the citizens’ campaign against delinquency and addictions.
One of Purpose Rwanda’s beneficiaries as well shared her road to recovery testimony to the participants present that was very touching. Not only did she recover from sex work, she is also a watchwoman and helping others to recover from sex work and all the associated trauma.
The citizens’ campaign will run from 2022-2027 with hope that by then 30,000 addiction patients will have been reached, recovered, restored and turned into Purposeful Agents of Transformation. Meaning that citizens will be supporting this campaign to ensure that 5, 000 patients are recovered (1000 sex workers, 2000 alcoholics and 2000 drug addicts)
Among the methods to achieve the above outcomes, Purpose Rwanda will carry out both preventive and rehabilitative approaches including, carrying out nationwide research towards preventive and rehabilitation measures, content production for prevention and awareness, school and university programs, family engagement, community conferences, development of school curriculums for S1-S6 to expose addictions and teach addictions management mechanisms to students, empowering watchmen/women to be able to reach out to many still struggling with addictions, strengthening both outpatients and residential rehabilitation services.
Participants present showcased why this is a timely initiative and have hope that it will contribute to the weakening of delinquency and addictions. Most present assured financial and in kind support to Purpose Rwanda including, the Moslem community, Isibo TV, Authentic TV, private businesses, citizens, among others present.
The media present as well captured the launch, kindly take a read:
Together we can build a Purposeful and Addiction Free Rwanda