On the 14th of February, the YONECO Blantyre district office conducted a session on drug and substance abuse with 80 learners (40 males and 40 females) at Golden Gate private secondary school. The aim of the session was to raise awareness among school learners about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse and how it affects an individual’s overall well-being.
During the session, a YONECO officer emphasized that learners should not use drugs like African hemp and alcohol while at school, as it can lead to poor academic performance and mental health issues. The officer also highlighted the fact that many learners are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and this has led to increased school dropouts. In the previous term, 5 girls and 9 boys were suspended from school due to drug and alcohol abuse, and 5 girls dropped out due to teenage pregnancy.
The session was interactive, with learners and teachers asking questions and making comments on how best to help and counsel someone who is struggling with drug and substance abuse. YONECO publicized a toll-free line number (6600) that learners can use to seek help and support.
YONECO will continue conducting such sessions in both primary and secondary schools to raise awareness and prevent drug and substance abuse among learners. The organization’s efforts are crucial in tackling the issue of drug and alcohol abuse among learners, which has far-reaching consequences, not only for the individuals involved but also for their families, schools, and communities.