Alcohol and Drug Abuse Among Youth
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 program in the districts of Nyagatare, Rusizi, Rubavu, Nyabihu, Kicukiro and Bugesera where 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 program has greatly impacted the lives of thousands youth, children, parents and teachers living in the zone of intervention. Some changes are observable in communities, schools and rehabilitation centers for street children in the intervention sectors.
The youth have adopted a sober life so that they can finish their studies and earn a decent life. Parents and teachers also have reduced consumption of illicit drugs and alcohol to be able to provide for their families and protect them from violence. We truly appreciate the local government for supporting Girl Guides at the grass roots level to carry out the workshops and roadshows as planned. We are also thankful for the National Police for trusting us to deliver some of this program’s activities where was necessary and for partnering with us in mass mobilization.
In 2017 we launched the second phase of “No to Alcohol and Drugs Abuse” program, which will run across the country from 2017 to 2021. Funded by IOGT – NTO Movement, this initiative will now be implemented through Girl Guides troops and youth rehabilitation centers. In 2017, we have focused on integrating this program in the Girl Guiding National Educational Program, which will roll out in 2018 and scaled up throughout 2021.
Apart from educating our members on alcohol related issues, Girl Guides are trained and empowered to sensitize the community, youth, parents and teachers on the effects of alcohol and drugs while encouraging them to collaborate with the police in stopping the traffic of illicit beverages and drugs. Our districts of implementations include Burera,Rusizi, Rubavu, Nyagatare, Bugesera, Kirehe, Kicukiro, Rwamagana and Huye.