The problem of drug and alcohol abuse in Rwanda is complex and demands a coordinated and highly integrated approach. In 2014 Association des Guides du Rwanda has launched an anti-substance abuse programme in the districts of Nyagatare, Rusizi, Rubavu, Nyabihu, Kicukiro and Bugeserawhere the trafficking of alcohol and drugs is high in these regions.

The ultimate goal was to raise awareness in order to reduce the amount of drugs and alcohol being consumed by youth in and out of schools. For three years, the programme has greatlyimpacted the lives of thousandsyouth, children, parents and teachers living in the zone of intervention. Some changes are observable in communities, schools and rehabilitationcenters for streetchildren in the intervention sectors.

The youth have adoptedasober life sothattheycan finish theirstudies and earn a decent life. Parents and teachersalso have reducedconsumption of illicitdrugs and alcohol to be able to provide for theirfamilies and protectthemfrom violence. Wetrulyappreciate the local government for supporting Girl Guides at the grassrootslevel to carry out the workshops and roadshows as planned. We are alsothankful for the National Police for trusting us to deliversome of thisprogramme’sactivitieswherewasnecessary and for partneringwith us in mass mobilization.

In 2017welaunched the second phase of “No to Alcohol and Drugs Abuse” programme, whichwillrunacross the country from 2017 to 2021. Funded by IOGT – NTO Movement, this initiative willnowbeimplementedthrough Girl Guides troops and youthrehabilitation centres. In 2017, wehavefocused on integratingthis programme in the Girl Guiding National Educational Programme, whichwill roll out in 2018 and scaled up throughout 2021.

Apartfromeducatingourmembers on alcoholrelated issues, Girl Guides are trained and empowered to sensitize the community, youth, parents and teachers on the effects of alcohol and drugswhileencouragingthem to collaboratewith the police in stopping the traffic of illicitbeverages and drugs. Our districts of implementationsincludeBureraRusizi, Rubavu, Nyagatare, Bugesera, Kirehe, Kicukiro, Rwamagana and Huye.