Black Street youths condemn drugs, violence…
Over 100 Black Street ghetto youths at Brookfields Friday 28th benefited from an anti–drugs focus group discussion organized by the Foundation for Democratic Initiative & Development (FDID).
The youths used to be notorious drug abusers and have been involved in violence and other petty crimes.
Shortly after being schooled by FDID on the hazards of drug abuse and violence, the youths have now stood up and are unequivocally denouncing drug abuse and violence from among Sierra Leonean youths generally.
Reacting to what was referred to as a message well hammered, founder and head of Black Street ghetto, Ahamed Kama alias Sharkwan urged his colleagues to rise to the occasion and say no to drugs and violence.
He warned all to beware of politicians as they are known for inducing the youths with drugs and alcohol thus making them perpetrate violence. Adding, “In time of trouble they abandoned the youth completely.”
He nevertheless implored the youth to resist any form of violence and said they at Black Street ghetto support the national colours, Green-White-Blue and not any of the colours of political parties.
One of the refined youths, who now serves as a change agent, Mohamed Bah, gave testimony of his past. He stated that his addiction to drugs practically made him a changed man.
He nonetheless admonished his colleagues about the effects of drug abuse.
“Black Street,” he said, “used to act as a safe haven for drug takers and a hub for the exportation of violence to other places.”
He commended FDID for making them know how dangerous it is to engage in drug taking and violent activities.
He called on respective human rights groups, civil society, and non-governmental organizations for scholarships, micro financing, and other forms of assistance for the youths.
Earlier, the Director of FDID, Hindowa Saidu said the anti drugs focus group discussion is being funded by the British High Commission and that they are targeting vulnerable youths at the Dowzark and Brookfield communities.
He furthered that 200 youths in both communities enjoy the pleasure of workshop sensitization campaigns, and counseling outreach programs; through jingles on radio and TV.
He urged the youths to say ‘No to Drugs for Vote,’ adding, ‘the campaign is not a one off event, as they intend training Peer Counselors, who in turn will train their colleagues on issues of drugs and violence.’
He maintained that the first approach is disengaging youths from taking drugs; that the best drug prevention strategy is to keep youths off drugs.
He appealed to the National Youth Commission, Ministry of Youth & Sports and other organizations to partner with FDID and mount a national anti drug and violence campaign countrywide.
By Sulaiman Bah
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