Say no to drugs

Joint event reaches out to youth

Go! & Express - - FRONT PAGE - DES­MOND COET­ZEE

ASUBSTANCE abuse cam­paign held by Buf­falo City Metro Health District in Brei­d­bach last week was a huge suc­cess, with a large at­ten­dance by youth and com­mu­nity mem­bers.

The event saw cap­ti­vat­ing per­for­mances by young peo­ple from all cor­ners of BCM who showed off their tal­ents through song, dance, and po­etry to the ex­cite­ment of the au­di­ence.

BCM HIV preven­tion man­ager Ntombi Mak­i­nana said they had fol­low-up meet­ings with their part­ners such as the de­part­ments of so­cial de­vel­op­ment and ed­u­ca­tion, as well as NGOs TB/HIV Care, Hu­mana Peo­ple to Peo­ple, Bumb’ In­gomso, In­jongo Youth De­vel­op­ment and Be­yond Zero. The Depart­ment of Health acted as host for the meet­ings.

“The aim of the event was to gather youth un­der one roof and pro­vide them with health in­for­ma­tion and ad­dress so­cial ills,” Mak­i­nana said.

“The theme for this year is ‘My Health, My Choice, My Fu­ture’ and the fo­cus was on sub­stance abuse among the youth and its chal­lenges on youth health and fam­i­lies.

“We also wanted to lis­ten to them and to get in­for­ma­tion from them on why they are in­volv­ing them­selves in sub­stance abuse, as well as pro­vide them with op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able so they can make in­formed de­ci­sions.”

Vovee Batala was the pro­gramme di­rec­tor and an in­spi­ra­tion to the youth as he en­ter­tained them with en­cour­ag­ing words of wis­dom and song.

Ward Coun­cil­lor Sixolisiwe Nt­sasela, in her wel­com­ing speech, com­mended the host and the stake­hold­ers for bring­ing an event of such mag­ni­tude to Brei­d­bach and also praised the youth for tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend.

Lo­cal res­i­dent, David Jack­son, was the mo­ti­va­tional speaker and ex­plained to the youth how he was once caught up in drugs.

“It al­ways starts when you want to ex­per­i­ment or try it your­self and this was how I started us­ing dagga at the age of nine years,” Jack­son said.

“I be­came so ad­dicted that it later ended up with mandrax, which landed me in jail.

“The big­gest prob­lem now is tik and it’s not only in my com­mu­nity but all over the coun­try.

“Some might say it’s not friends who lead you do it but when you are with the wrong group of friends, then you will end up do­ing what they do.”

Brei­d­bach Clinic oper­a­tional man­ager, Sis­ter Yoliswa Qamba, said the cam­paign was well-re­ceived by the Brei­d­bach youth.

“We as the clinic with our com­mit­tee vis­ited schools to mo­bilise the youth and the re­sponse was in­di­cated by the full halls,” Qamba said.

Pic­ture: DES­MOND COET­ZEE

SWEET MELODIES: Lo­cal artist Chane Julius was one of the many artists per­form­ing at the sub­stance abuse cam­paign in Brei­d­bach last week

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