Joint NACADA, ISSUP and African Union Drug Demand Reduction Conference and Training Workshop (Thinking Globally Acting Locally)
10 –14 December, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya
Submitted by: Mr. Ahmad Shah
Course: Global Youth Forum
In December 2018, ISSUP jointly hosted a fantastic international conference with the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) and the African Union. The event took place over the course of a week with 1600 participants from more than 80 countries, including more than 40 African States.
ISSUP coordinated training from a range of international partners including inputs from Colombo Plan's Drug Advisory Programme, UNODC, CICAD, CADCA, DFAF, GCCC and ICUDDR. In addition to the training courses and open panels, a variety of expert group meetings took place including a specialist Youth Forum and meetings involving all leaders of ISSUP’s National Chapters. There were discussions about creative strategies for tackling current issues, planning for future networking and relationship building, and the latest evidence-based practice in the field of substance use prevention, treatment and recovery.
This is Mr. Ahmad Shah working with Drug Free Pakistan Foundation as a Youth Program Coordinator. Along with it, I am also working as an Exchange Ambassador with the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. I applied for the Global Youth Forum through Facebook post on social media by INL- U.S. Department of State and ISSUP. The conference also resulted in a proud moment for me and my country as I received the prestigious Global Runner UP Award in the field of Drug Demand Reduction (Early Career category).
I am very grateful to ISSUP - International Society of Substance Use Professionals and U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Intl Narcotics & Law Enforcement (INL) throughout this journey from program design to implementation. His humble and professional way of communication resulted in more than 80 countries, including more than 40 African states participants participated in ISSUP conference. The arrangement made the ISSUP and INL-U.S. Department of State was really appreciable. There were no single delay and communication from ISSUP /INL side. I really admire your working protocol and some of their good initiative like the ISSUP Award idea. I like the magnetic way of communication approach. ISSUP/INL family is the Asset and star for the globe.
I opted to take part in the Global Youth Forum (GYF) as it is directly related to my work area. Youth from more than 19 countries participated in the forum. I was the only one who actively participated in the GYF from Asia. I really liked their content which also included building community coalitions. The theme 'Engage, Develop, Inspire' was really motivating and inspiring to me. Overall the session was extra special and useful for me because I learned many new ideas and share some workable ideas with others at the GYF. Now added knowledge and new zeal to continue in my services to Pakistani youth. In the end, participants planned a total of 19 Social Action Projects. I stand in a good position among these groups and I am looking forward to the implementation in my country. I will keep you updated on its impact and evaluation.
In the end, I would like to thank ISSUP - International Society of Substance Use Professionals and INL- U.S. Department of State and Pakistan family especially Mr. Morales, Brian A, Mr. Wilson, Benjamin G, Mr. Thompson, Andrew, Ms. Joanna Travis-Roberts, Ms. Diana Crossan, Ms. Livia Edegger, Mr. Jeff Lee, Ms. Edie O'Dowd, Mr. Haft, Nathaniel S and Mr. Aamir Wadood for the right person for the right selection and resulted in receiving the prestigious Global Runner UP Award in the field of Drug Demand Reduction (Early Career category) around the globe. I am looking forward for a long term connection with INL, U.S. Department of State and ISSUP - International Society of Substance Use Professionals in the development of our society especially through engaging youth in impactful activities around the globe. I hope that my work and award will be an inspiration for the young generation who are willing to work in the field of Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) around the globe.
At this moment, I would also like to acknowledge people and organizations who helped me in achieving my goals and objectives. It would have not been possible without all your lovely support and guidance throughout my journey in the field of Drug Demand Reduction (DDR).