Drug and Alcohol abuse continues to have devastating effects among young people, and its impact, lasting. High unemployment rates in Malawi has resulted in many young people resorting to drug and alcohol abuse as one way of escaping the harsh realities of poverty. This poses a danger to the youthful population who are mostly seen as productive assets in our society.
It is from this background that YONECO in Mangochi district is implementing the ‘Empowering Young People to Fight Drug and Alcohol Abuse Project’ with financial support from the Norwegian Church Aid-Danish Church Aid (NCA-DCA) Joint Programme. The project, which is primarily targeting young people (10-24 years old) in T/As Nankhumba; Chimwala; Mponda and Jalasi seeks to promote inclusive community participatory efforts in reducing cases of drug and alcohol abuse amongst young people. The project is also focusing on improving SRHR service delivery, preventing the spread of HIV and reducing the incidence of GBV cases among the youth.
In a bid to monitor progress of the project, YONECO conducted supportive visits to trained community structures to learn how the various interventions are progressing and to identify existing gaps.
The visits were also graced by members of the press in the district who documented stories of change from project beneficiaries in bid to raise awareness of the vice. It is expected that through the stories of change, many young people in the district as well as across Malawi will learn of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and its detrimental effects.
Through the project, young girls and boys who fell victims of drug and alcohol abuse and had dropped out of school have been rescued and integrated back into their communities. It is expected that the stories of change will encourage many youths in the country to seek help on drug and alcohol abuse by calling the Drug and Substance Abuse Hotline Toll-Free number 6600.