with Scripture Union in Sierra Leone
A new program tackling the huge issue of drug addiction among young people in part of Sierra Leone
Just £50 could help turn young lives around
A dangerous new drug called ‘Kush’, which has emerged recently in Sierra Leone, is threatening the lives of the country’s young people and has been causing widespread deaths.. It is estimated that the cheap drug is killing around a dozen people each week and causing thousands to be hospitalised. The drug, taken mostly by young men aged 18 to 25, causes people to fall asleep while walking, to fall over, to bang their heads against hard surfaces and to walk into moving traffic.
In an attempt to combat this threat to young people, Scripture Union Sierra Leone has started a pilot work among the ‘Kush’ drug users in areas of northern Sierra Leone. They are providing counselling services, mentorship, educational and basic nutritional support for the young addicts. Drug users face all kinds of issues from physical and mental health problems, academic challenges, being forced into crime and the breakdown of criminal behaviour, relationship and families.
Building on Scripture Union’s many years’ of working with children and young people, the goodwill across communities, and their network of churches and volunteers in the Tonkolili district, the project seeks to tackle drug abuse among 1,000 young people through a focused campaign and bible teachings.
SU Sierra Leone plans to establish drop-in centres offering counselling and a safe place for rehabilitation so that eventually, the young people can be reunited with their families and communities. SU aims to expand their reach through 50 pastors from local partner churches offering spiritual and psycho-social support.
The SU rehabilitation program will offer a range of support including information and awareness on the danger of drugs, Bible study related to drug prevention and healthy living, individual and group counselling, along with mentoring and spiritual support. The team believe the combination of practical and spiritual support for these young people has the power to transform their lives and by extension, the society as a whole.