TWO organisations, Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), and Soaring Youth Foundation (SYF), are working to support 1, 000 youths to steer away from drug abuse in the FCT.
They will also support those already hooked to drugs to access therapy.
The organisations made the commitment on Saturday during the flag-off of the ‘Youth Alive Drug Abuse, Sensitisation, Self-Awareness and Treatment (DASSAT) Project’ at Wumba community, in Lokogoma area of Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is being implemented in partnership with the National Drug law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Shekinah International Gospel Ministry, Wumba.
Dr Hope Omeiza, the Managing Director of VGADA, said their target was to get to hard-to-reach communities and support victims who could not access and afford treatment.
“We felt it is important to get into communities like the Wumba community where we are flagging off this programme to ensure that before the end of next year, we are able to reach 1,000 youths in Abuja,” he said.
Omeiza said that the project would involve psychological, skills acquisition and social skills programmes.
He said that beneficiaries would undergo drug test and other drug resistance programmes and interventions to steer them away from drugs.
“We are going to be engaging them three days in a week, it is a continuous programme and it would be in cycles of three months.
“Through this community therapy programme, we are going to target and administer therapy to them and empower them.”
Omeiza said that the empowerment would be in form of skills training and grants at the end of the training.
“We are looking at the possibility of getting several government agencies that can come in to support these youths with either conditional cash transfer or grants to set up businesses,” he added.
In his speech, Michael Awe, the Lead Pastor, Shekinah International Gospel Ministry, said they were partnering with the organisations to rescue youths in the community from drug addiction and other social vices.
“We have been doing it on our own, but we discover that spirituality is not enough to heal the mind of the youths from drug abuse.
“That is why we are partners in this rescue mission; we minister to them because some of them also have spiritual afflictions.
“Some of them have mental disorder as a result of the use of the drug they have been taking.
“We are coming together to see how we can help and empower them in such a way that they could have something tangible to do and be useful to themselves and the community,” the pastor said.
In his message to the event, NDLEA Chairman, Brig..Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), said the engagement would help in tackling the scourge of drug abuse.
Marwa who was represented by the Assistant Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Chidi Ndukwu, said that drug abuse and trafficking have been enablers of most crimes and criminalities in Nigeria, as such must be vigorously tackled.
He commended the organisations for their commitment to a drug-free society, which would ensure peace and security in the country.
“It is important to note that no nation can fulfill her destiny, nor will leadership deliver on its mandate under a riotous and directionless youth population,” the NDLEA boss said.
Marwa added that national development was a product of coordinated efforts, adding that the contributions of the youth was vital to the progress and development of the country.
“We can confidently say that drug abuse and illegal drug trafficking have been enablers of most crimes and criminalities in our great country.
“Nigerian youth are highly talented in various fields of human endeavours but the non-discovery of these talents has reduced some youth to drug users, cyber criminals and violent extremists.
“I believe that at the end of this sensitisation, many participants will discover their meaningful and positive areas of interest,” he said. (NAN)
December 3, 2023 @ 9:36 GMT|Tags: Dr Hope Omeiza