UYDEL RESPONSE TOWARDS GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND ALCOHOL ABUSE DURING THE LOCKDOWN IN UGANDA

Background:

The COVID 19 pandemic globally has had a devastating negative impact especially in low income countries like Uganda who have fragile health system and can’t manage many cases. Governments declared lockdown and everything stood at stand still for over 75 days. Children and their families depending on small informal business closed, capital eaten up and didn’t know what to happen next.

Our entire 9 Drop in centers/safe spaces were closed and over 2000 slum youth and poor children scattered and a few went home. We received distress calls from some our young people we serve daily in our drop in centers that life had become unbearable, there was a lot of hunger, and some violence was inflicted on children. It is estimated that another 3 million Ugandans are expected to fall into abject poverty as a result increasing the number to 23 million people.

Children trying to cope in the pandemic were far worse off and some taken play by the exploiters in the name of giving food (exchange for sex). There was a spike and increase of sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the informal settlement and slums. Gladly we requested for support from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) through Dr. Mary Jane Rotheram and OAK Foundation, who responded positively to this emergency to assist and help over 1500 children in Kampala city who were scattered in the city. UYDEL received USD $ 25,000 from OAK Foundation towards support for procurement and distribution of food relief and other basic necessities to young people to contribute to their welfare and also prevent infections of COVID 19 in the communities.

UYDEL Response: With support from our donors, we have put together hygiene basket composed of wash stands with buckets, soap and Dettol, with informational brochures that were distributed through our networks and with our partners in urban communities, and in support of local government leadership. We are mobilizing and supporting youth in our networks who know how to sew to make artisanal face masks that can be made available to the wider community on sale at reasonable cost.

UYDEL also tapped into the COVID 19 response fund under the EASY U25 Project to provide funds worth 96,726,000/= to cater for Foods and emergency support for vulnerable slum youth and their families under the project, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and support to Slum youth and UYDEL Staff while at the drop-in centers and Secretariat and Provide Foods and emergency support for vulnerable slum youth and their families under the project.

food donations
Food donations

In these few weeks we have seen families living in extreme poverty being hit even harder by the crisis as prices for basic food items and supplies skyrocket.  We are lobbying our networks for support and once this is realised then we plan to provide these families with additional cash subsidies to help keep food on the table. For homeless people and children this is worse. The UYDEL communication and M&E team has worked on critical messages to share as the risk for violence and exploitation of women and children - especially girls – increases significantly in times of crisis. These messages will be shared on community radio, on Whatsapp networks, by text messaging and other ways UYDEL usually communicate.

 

end GBV and Alcohol abuse

 

 

Conclusion: This has so far been a successful activity since many young people have benefitted from the relief items. We still have some leftover food to reach some more young people. However, many numbers of youths are still unreached and they need food now since the lock down has been extended for another 21 days. Many will not start immediately any enterprises to improve their survival and coping.  We anticipate many parents will not be able to support their children in the immediate future and many children are likely to be enticed into sexual exploitation, homelessness ness.

The way forward goals are to reach 1,300 (900 girls and 400 males) at UYDEL training centers and 9 city youth drop in centers. Vulnerable poor hit by pandemic as a short term measure to reduce trauma, dependency, sexual exploitation, trafficking, and violence and encourage recovery and also to build resilience and social capital for full recovery and reduce trauma and sexual exploitation.

Situation Analysis of Alcohol Abuse among Youth during the COVID 19 Lockdown in Uganda

UGANDA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT LINK

Alcohol Harm Prevention Project

Radio Talk Show Report

Discussion Topic: Situation analysis of Alcohol abuse among young during the COVID 19 lock down

Station: Tiger FM 102.5 frequency  located in Nansana Municipality

Date:11th June 2020; 9:00AM to 10:00AM         

Guests: Mr. Mutaawe Rogers; Senior Programme Manager & Mr. Lubega Andrew; Project Officer

Objectives:

  • To discuss the situation of alcohol abuse among young people during the COVID 19 lock down
  • To share experiences about the effects of risky behaviours among youths in Uganda.
  • To offer solutions to address the challenges of alcohol use that affect youths.
  • To share the way forward towards supporting the youths during this “new normal” in Uganda

Background information

This is a morning flagship programme conducted in the local language Luganda on Tiger FM. The radio set aside every Thursday to discuss key salient issues that concern health of people in the community hence the topic of the day.

Summary of the proceedings

The moderator asked Mr. Mutaawe to define alcohol use and abuse. In his submission, Mr. Mutaawe said that alcohol is mainly composed on methanol and is a socially acceptable in society. However, many people and especially children and young people are increasingly misusing the alcohol and are taking it daily in uncontrolled amounts which has led to addictions and dependence. Addictions are mainly a result of peer pressure, stress, family environment and poverty. He said that children as young as 14 years have been taken to Butabika for treatment which is a worrying situation for the country and that about 20% of cases in hospital have alcohol related problems.

 

Mr. Lubega on the other hand said that field work experience of UYDEL had showed that young people were increasingly getting hooked to alcohol during the lock down.  This is mainly due to lack of engagement in productive activities as many have not been working which left them idle. The availability of alcohol in bars/shops has made it very easy for young people to engage in alcohol consumption in addition to the environment, family and peer pressure. Despite the Presidential directives of closure of all bars, some people are buying a lot of alcohol and storing it in their homes which has exacerbated the problems. Alcohol is no ordinary commodity for all people to access on streets, bars, shops and other places.

 

On the issue of parental guidance, Mr. Mutaawe noted that many parents are busy working leaving little or no time for children at home. In due process children lack role models and end up belonging to bad peer groups. Likewise, some parents drink at home and also leave alcohol in refrigerators which pre disposes children to alcohol consumption at an early age. He called on the parents to be good role models to their children during these hard times.

 

Mr. Lubega also highlighted that UYDEL was implementing activities of the Alcohol Harm prevention project that include; follow up the enforcement of the alcohol bylaws; training of NGOs/CBOs in advocacy skills; sensitization meetings with local leaders in the Divisions; conduct community awareness dialogue sessions about the enforcement of the alcohol bylaws in the targeted Divisions; conduct training sessions on harms of alcohol with villagers; awareness raising through music dance and drama shows in the project areas; conduct sensitization meetings with owners of entertainment places, bars, supermarkets in targeted communities; develop and print bylaw materials such as posters, stickers for dissemination in target areas and media talk shows.

 

Mr. Mutaawe informed the listeners that UYDEL had been serving the most marginalized out of school young people for the last 25 years in Kampala and rural communities. UYDEL provides services to the most at risk populations, street children, slum youth through life skills education, counselling, vocational skills training and apprenticeship, career guidance, and psychosocial support. He observed that youths are faced with problems of poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, high teenage pregnancies, crime, vulnerabilities to trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. The youths have been for long been neglected and that’s why government programmes now have tended to target them more especially the youth livelihood program. He encouraged youths to be patient and establish viable business ventures that are profitable and legal. He encouraged youths to always look out for opportunities basing on where they stay. For example he informed them to think creatively during this lock down and probably engage in new viable employment opportunities within their communities to avoid the challenges of unemployment.

  1. John Paul from Vision High school Kawempe thanked the guests for the insightful information. He noted that government gets taxes from alcohol and this makes it difficult to curb alcohol abuse. He also wondered why Police doesn’t enforce the drug law yet many youths consume these illicit substances from known places.
  2. A gentleman by the names “Small eye” from Semuto urged government to ban cheap alcohol to promote a generation free from alcohol related harm.
  3. Another caller from Kyebando stated that government is to blame for increased alcohol use because it has not help the youths   and they have lost hope.
  4. Another caller from Kikandwa wanted to know how UYDEL helps those trainees that graduate from vocational skills training.

Mr. Mutaawe said that police have the duty to arrest people who break the law by using drugs and abusing alcohol. He urged the community leaders to regularly engage the police to do their work. He also noted that government may not ban alcohol now but advocacy for alcohol regulation shall continue to ensure that the law and policy promote public health.

 

Mr. Lubega in his response urged the youths to be creative and engage in viable economic activities other than waiting for support from government. He also informed the listeners that upon completion of skills training the UYDEL trainees are linked to potential employers for internship while others are supported with startup tool kits whenever resources are available.

 

 

Way forward

Mr. Mutaawe concluded by thanking the host for inviting him to share his experiences with young people and also teaching the youths values of self-reliance and survival to address the unemployment problem. He thanked the station for the opportunity and urged the management to always create time for developmental programs. He urged the young people to stay resilient and calm as the Nation grapples with the lock down.

 

On the other hand, Mr. Lubega urged the youths to avoid alcohol use and abuse by being in presence of good peer groups, applying life skills, and engage in productive ventures. He noted that UYDEL will continue working closely with Nansana Municipality to develop alcohol bylaws to regulate alcohol sale and consumption. He called upon the business owners to always consider public health and safety as they sale alcohol. They should not sale to minors.

prevention of Alcohol related Harm during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Training on Drug Prevention in Conjunction with 23rd Session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND 2-6 March 2020 in Vienna, Austria

Mr. Kasirye Rogers attended a meeting on drug prevention in conjunction with the 23rd Sessions of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND 2-6 March, 2020 in Vienna Austria). It was organized by Drug Free America Foundation Inc., a world drug abuse prevention leader with over five divisions in drug abuse policy work.

The focus of the meeting was to get an opportunity to share our concerns and views at several meetings alongside the CND, network with like-minded organizations as well as share and learn the effects substance misuse has on other cultures and regions and educate each other on the effects, promising programmers, innovations and interventions in prevention, treatment and recovery.

A lot of information and knowledge was shared by experts in the substance use prevention field. Discussion were also held on drug policy, the harms of drug abuse and policy responses.

The training meeting created an opportunity for civil society and NGOs entities and individuals to have the ability to advocate for ideas and policies that were meaningful and of interest especially from the Globe.

The week-long training provided opportunities to attend daily side events, daily lectures or discussions utilizing world experts in substance misuse policy for almost 2 hours every day. We also attended VNGOC meetings. We would like to encourage other NGOs working in the substance use disorders field to register and become members of the Committee.

UGANDA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT LINK PRESS RELEASE RE: Alcohol and COVID-19; Two Pandemics Colliding 

UGANDA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT LINK

PRESS RELEASE
RE: Alcohol and COVID-19; Two pandemics colliding 


Introduction:
 In Uganda we have seen a spike and unprecedented levels of drinking leading to increase in domestic violence and addiction levels. Some men are spending more time drinking and hence diverting money meant for food to buying alcohol.
Facts about alcohol in relation to COVID 19
a) Consuming high-strength alcohol does not kill the COVID-19 virus. If adulterated with methanol, can result in severe health consequences, including death.
b) Alcohol is not a food stuff
c) Alcohol is not an essential commodity
Alcohol use is related to COVID 19 in the following ways;
1. There are high chances that some bars and pubs may be operating illegally as they currently yearn for customers to buy alcohol despite the fact that they have been prohibited by government not to operate. This is recipe for the spread of the COVID 19 because there is a likelihood of close contact with patrons without observing social distancing.
2. There have been reported cases of domestic violence which is partly attributable to drunk husbands beating their wives during this crisis situation.
3. Drinking alcohol weakens the immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes which makes it difficult for the body to fight infections like COVID 19.
4. Drinking alcohol affects one’s ability to make sensible choices or decisions to protect oneself from COVID 19.
5. Increased alcohol use among the community members as they try to deal with unemployment, stress, and loneliness during the lock down.

There are other ways to deal with stress without drinking alcohol.
Restricting Alcohol Access during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Uganda Government has issued a variety of “stay at home” orders, nearly all of which ban on-premise food or alcohol consumption and the subsequent closure of bars and restaurants to patrons. These unforeseen and new challenges have led to new approaches to alcohol sales in many areas, including alcohol delivery through food service apps.

 We have seen social media platforms that are promoting online adverts from one of the big alcohol industries in Uganda encouraging the population living in Kampala and Wakiso to visit a website and place an order which would be delivered to the respective patron in line with government movement directives. We condemn these acts in the strongest terms possible.

The Alcohol Industry should not reap from the people especially at this time when people should spend wisely the little they have since the economy is slow now. This is a time to promote healthy behavioural changes; people should stay home sober with their families to avoid likely consequences of alcohol use.
The general population should be reminded to observe the following;


a) Parents/guardians should be role models to their children and young people by making sure they do not have access to alcohol. Parents should talk to them about why drinking affects
 behaviours that can expose you more to the virus.
b) People should stay calm without alcohol. Fear and anxiety are common during the
pandemic. Alcohol only makes them worse. Do not drink alcohol to cope with your
emotions.
c) People should be resilient without alcohol. Drinking alcohol during home isolation increases
the risk of violence and injury.
We therefore appeal to;
1. Government to regulate and impose a complete ban on the distribution, transportation and sale of any liquor and alcohol in any form during this 21-day COVID 19 lock down. Many young people and men are resorting to drinking liquor in homes and urban centers in big groups which compromises social distancing. This is a factor that needs urgent and timely attention.
2. Government should institute another taskforce to support affected communities by providing psychosocial support, and counselling services to cope, adjust and adapt with the current situation.
3. Media programmes need to focus on building and communicating hope, adaptation to the current situation, recovery and successful outcomes post COVID 19 lock down. Less time should be allocated to issues of hopelessness, unemployment, stress and trauma.
4. The COVID 19 prevention messages should be complemented by communicating with the public about the risks of alcohol consumption, and maintaining and strengthening alcohol and drug rehabilitation services.
Signed,
Rogers Kasirye
Executive Director
For further details you may visit www.uydel.org
  

Stop domestic violence and alcohol abuse as we protect our families from COVID-19

Motivational Interviewing Course: Assisting Patients in Making Sustainable Positive Lifestyle Changes

We invite you to register for this free webinar-based training course on Motivational Interviewing (MI). The three week long series is presented by Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry.

Igor Koutsenok ISSUP Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is an essential, client-centered, counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. We are absolutely thrilled to bring you this skills-building opportunity presented by a recognized expert in the field of MI.

The course consists of four sessions to be held during June 2020 (see course descriptions and session dates below).

We highly encourage registration for all sessions.

Course Description

This is a training in evidence-based clinical methods of motivational interviewing (MI). After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationships in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.     

Course Objectives

The goal is to provide knowledge and practical skill training for various practitioners on effective ways to enhance motivation of patients with substance use disorders that require significant behavioral changes to initiate and sustain positive and healthy behavioral choices. Skill building, and experiential training will be emphasized throughout the course by exercises to develop a therapeutic alliance with patients, assess patient needs, level of engagement in treatment process, structure treatment sessions, select appropriate interventions, and assist patient in maintaining motivation for a sustainable behavioral change.

Participants will learn the basic and advanced skills in motivational interviewing and strategies for engaging patients in collaborative relationship in treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. The course will:

  1. Help participants to acquire a systemic perspective of motivational interviewing and other motivational enhancement strategies;
  2. Build necessary clinical skills and attitudes to implement new strategies in working with ambivalent patients.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, every participant will be able to:

  1. Describe all the aspects of the spirit of MI
  2. Explain the differences between MI and other counselling strategies
  3. Demonstrate the ability to respond to clients with reflective listening statements
  4. Identify change talk within client speech
  5. Generate open questions designed to elicit change talk
  6. Generate MI-consistent responses to client resistant statements
  7. Differentiate commitment language from other forms of change talk
  8. Provide and empathetic summary statements collecting change talk

Course Content, Dates & Registration

Session 1: Thursday June 4th 2020

Motivational Interviewing: Basic Understanding

After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.  

Learning outcomes:

  • Introduction: Motivation and behavioral change in addiction medicine
  • Review of the concepts of Ambivalence, Stages of change, the righting reflex, limits of persuasion.
  • Spirit of MI
  • Expressing empathy
  • Roadblocks to communication
  • Four Processes in MI

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar Recording 

Slide Deck

Session 2: Thursday June 11th 2020

Fundamental Skills in MI - OARS

This session will focus on Fundamental Skills in MI (OARS), providing practical exercises to help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Participants will learn strategies for engaging patients in a collaborative relationship in the treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.    

Learning outcomes:

  • Open and closed ended questions
  • Affirmations
  • Summaries
  • Rowing with OARS

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording

Session 3: Thursday June 18th 2020

Fundamental Skills in MI Continued

This third session will continue to focus on MI fundamentals, with a focus on more advanced skills and the integration of MI with other strategies and treatment modalities. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes.       

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognition and responding to change talk and sustain talk
  • Forming reflections
  • Levels of reflections
  • Recognizing readiness
  • Initial and intermediate planning
  • Integration with other skills and strategies

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 

Session 4: Friday June 19th 2020

The fourth and final session will continue to build on MI Fundamentals covered in Session 3, increasing your knowledge of advanced MI skills.

Time: 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm London

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 

We look forward to you joining us for these virtual sessions! Please contact info [at] issup [dot] net if you have any questions.

About Professor Koutsenok

Dr. Igor Koutsenok is а Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Director of the Center for Addiction Research, Training and Application, Director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR International Addiction Technology Transfer Center-Ukraine, and a co-director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR South East Asia Addiction Technology Transfer Center. He is also a Vice-President of the International Consortium of Universities on Drug Demand Reduction.

In 1983 he graduated as a medical doctor from the National Medical University in Kiev, (Ukraine). In 1986, he completed his psychiatry residency training and received degree as psychiatrist from the Medical University in Sofia (Bulgaria). In 1993-1996 he received a degree in addiction psychiatry at the University of London, Department of Addictive Behavior and Psychological Medicine at St. Georges Hospital Medical School. In 1996, he was recruited by the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and since then he serves as faculty member of the Department. In 2013-2016 he served as Chief of Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Office in Vienna.

Over the last 25 years Dr. Koutsenok led the design and implementation of multiple training and technical assistance programs for mental health and addiction treatment practitioners, primary health care and social work practitioners, criminal justice professionals in the United States and around the world. He is also directing the UCSD Summer Clinical Institute - the second longest running Summer Institute in the United States (over 40 years). Dr. Koutsenok is also a member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). 

For many years, Dr. Koutsenok taught general and addiction psychiatry to medical students, psychiatry residents, psychology trainees, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and policy makers around the world. He is a recipient of numerous national and international awards. He has authored and co-authored over 50 scientific publications, one monograph, and contributed to 4 book. Dr. Koutsenok has been invited as a presenter and trainer to hundreds of conferences and workshops in the USA and more than 40 countries around the world. He is a proud father of three.

Access to Drug Treatment Services in Nigeria: The Challenge of Addiction Workforce

Event Date
City/Region/State
Webinar

ISSUP ICUDDR

Presenters: Drs. Chia Francis and Mashika Esther

This webinar will illuminate the level of drug use in Nigeria, efforts made so far to address access to drug abuse treatment services in Nigeria, and details of a study regarding access to treatment.

Thursday June 4th 2020
Time: 11 AM BST / 6 AM EDT
Location: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82963854757

You Are Invited to an Interactive Dialogue: Alcohol and COVID-19: A Dangerous Mix - May 8, 2020: 2:00-3:30pm ET

What are Interactive Dialogues?

Interactive Dialogues are a series of virtual meetings hosted by USAPA in order to foster the spread of ideas and greater connection among those working in the field of alcohol policy. The Interactive Dialogues are intended to create a space where members of community alcohol and other drug coalitions, local and state public health departments, and other ATOD prevention and public health practitioners can gather and discuss timely alcohol policy issues. Sessions will include a panel of 2-3 people with expertise on the given topic. Panelists will provide short introductory comments followed by facilitation and moderation of questions and discussion by members of USAPA. There will be significant opportunity to discuss live and pre-assembled questions from the audience with the goal of taking action on these issues. 

Description of USAPA's first Interactive Dialogue

In early March, 2020, the U.S. was hit with the global pandemic of COID-19, which has affected the lives of millions of Americans. States and local governments have issued a variety of “shelter in place” and “stay at home” orders, nearly all of which ban on-premise food or alcohol consumption and the subsequent closure of bars and restaurants to patrons. These unforeseen and new challenges have led to new approaches to alcohol sales in many states, including the sale of to-go cocktails, direct shipping, and alcohol delivery through food service apps. At the corporate level, companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors have pledged to engage in a range of “good will” efforts including helping to financially support employees who are out of work. 

 

This interactive dialogue will discuss some of the state and national changes in alcohol availability as a result of COVID-19, and serve as a listening session for the other alcohol industry friendly measures occurring at the state and local level. Participants will hear from experts and will have ample time to share their own experiences. The key findings from this discussion will result in resources that can be shared with the broader alcohol policy and prevention field. 

Session Objectives

This first Interactive Dialogue offers an opportunity for prevention practitioners to:

 

  • Learn about and better understand the harms associated with changes in alcohol availability as a result of an unexpected pandemic, including the increasingly blurred line between on and off premises sales;
  • Share emerging changes to alcohol sales that will not only impact alcohol-related harms in the short-term, but have the potential to set dangerous precedents that will damage the three tier system long-term; and
  • Discuss ways communities can take action to prevent the harms associated with increased access to alcohol.
  • Discuss ways to ensure that temporary policies do not become permanent.
  • Consider possible data collection to make the case about alcohol related harms.

Application of Research Findings to Action

Community coalitions, public health departments, and local prevention organizations can play an important role in ensuring that the public’s health and safety is maintained and harm from alcohol is minimized, especially as the country battles other new and emerging threats. There is important work to be done at the local and state levels to bring a more balanced public health approach during the pandemic. Presenters and participants will discuss possible actions that acknowledge the financial challenges confronting local retailers encouraging the maintenance and establishment of evidence-based alcohol policy. 

Presenters

  • David Jernigan, Ph.D., Professor – Boston University School of Public Health
  • Cassandra Greisen, Director of Public Policy - National Alcohol Beverage Control Association
  • Steven Schmidt, Sr. VP of Public Policy and Communications – National Alcohol Beverage Control Association

 

Moderators

 

  • Traci Toomey, Ph.D, University of Minnesota; Co-chair USAPA Advisory Board
  • Michael Sparks, MA, SparksInitiatives; Co-chair USAPA Advisory Board

For More Information and to Register, click here.

 

Or visit the USAPA Website at https://bit.ly/2VyQqqA 

U.S Alcohol Policy Alliance Logo

The Smart Club Contract Concept: An Evidence-Based Primary Prevention Method for Children in East Africa

The Smart Club Contract Concept: An Evidence-Based Primary Prevention Method for Children in East Africa

by Lubega Andrew (UYDEL)

The Contract Concept is a means or tools for children and adolescents to lead better lives with Human Rights, better school attendance and results and growing up without the burden of alcohol/drugs and other substances.

SMART’s contract method is locally based and includes components such as

  • individual contracts with participating children / adolescents
  • guardian's written approval
  • temporary membership
  • voluntarily to be a member (or abstain) and the right to exit
  • the right to come back (even after any exclusion)
  • consequence in breach of contract
  • positive reinforcement, encouraging the good choices (benefits)

Everyone (in the target group) is equally welcome, regardless of creed, race, and gender.

The goal is to support children and adolescents to gain control of their lives s, assist them in making better and informed smart choices, demanding for their fundamental Human, Gender Rights.

By introducing a Smart Club Concept we empower kids to never to start drinking/smoking/sniffing solvents or even trying narcotics but. Instead they can engage in fun or educative activities, make new friends and become aware of their Rights. They start demanding equal rights, democratic decisions. Some change from truants, who seldom go to school, to become interested in education, understand that it’s up to them how their grown-up lives will be. We work for making them change attitudes and show ambitions hence contributing to sustainable goal 3 and 4.

The concept was introduced by Smart International’s Slim Liden and the first Smart Club in Uganda –was established at Makerere COU Primary School by Uganda Youth Development Link followed by subsequent clubs in Kiteezi center for learning and disability by My self-Uganda  and one Children And Youth Empowerment Link in Kanyanya.

The contract concept is also being implemented in Kenya by Mr. George Ochieng under the Slum child Foundation and in West Africa.

Members of Smart Club Makerere COU Primary School

WEBINAR: Cary Hopkins Eyles on Authentic Self-Care for Addiction Professionals

This webinar focuses on the issue of self-care for addiction professionals and was delivered by ICUDDR Deputy Director Cary Hopkins Eyles.

Many of us are drawn to work in the field of substance use disorders due to our history, family, and personal traits, such as compassion and empathy. While these can be great assets, they can also be detrimental to us personally.

In this webinar, Cary explains how to identify healthy and unhealthy traits, how we can care for ourselves, and what authentic self-care looks like.

Cary has worked in the field of substance use disorders for 18 years. She is passionate about helping professionals in this field to take care of themselves so they can thrive and help those in need. Cary has worked in direct care in non-profit in the U.S., has run Residential, Outpatient, and Criminal Justice treatment programs, and has trained and mentored other substance use professionals. She is now the Deputy Director for the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) and supports the development of addiction studies programs around the world. She is a global trainer in the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC).

Recorded on 13 March 2020

Cary Hopkins Eyles

NBS Investigates: Smoking Music Away

Many young people who want to be good at music think that doing drugs will get them there easily however this is not the case, talent is God given and if you have it you do not need alcohol/drugs, you just need to work hard and harder and push your music and the people will appreciate you for who you really are.

 

LAUNCH OF THE 'DRUG FREE SCHOOLS' CAMPAIGN

The Church of Uganda has instituted a programme that will help young people to protect themselves from alcoholism and drug abuse. The programme Drug Free Schools was launched by the outgoing Arch Bishop , the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, at Mengo  Senior School on Saturday the 15th of February 2020. Speaking to students, teachers and partners that graced the function, Ntagali said that drug abuse among young people in schools was on rise, which was why the Church had decided to act against the vice.

The Coordinator of the Church of Uganda ‘Drug –Free Schools’ Programme, Ezra Tumuhirwe, said the initiative is expected to cover 500 secondary schools by 2026.

The KCCA acting Director of Public Health and Environment, Dr. Daniel Ayen Okello, asked young people to seek the guidance of their parents, teachers and religious leaders when they got problems, instead of turning to drugs. Dr. Okello told the youth that nobody should make them feel lesser than they are and reminded them that they were created in God’s image.

The Principal regulatory officer of medicines at the National Drug Authority (NDA), Brian Sekayombya, said the authority would continue to work with schools and other stakeholders to eliminate alcoholism and drug abuse. Other participants in this event included; Church of Uganda province Secretariat, the Rev. Paul Kakooza and Dr. Nazarius Tumwesigye from Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

The function which was graced by a number of dignitaries and the event kicked off with a solidarity march by students and teachers of Gayaza High School, Mengo Senior School, King’s College Buddo, Nsangi S.S, Mwereerwe S.S, Wampeewo Ntakke, Entebbe S.S and Kira S.S.

The students were also given an opportunity to presented poems, music and drama items on alcoholism and drug abuse during this event as well.

Students during the march

 

 

Group photo of participants and the Arch Bishop

World Federation Against Drugs' Regional Forum

THE WORLD FEDERATION AGAINST DRUGS’ REGIONAL FORUM TO BE HELD ON 6th FEBRUARY, 2020

The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) is holding this year’s first Regional Forum in the East African Region. The Forum will be taking place on the 6th of February, 2019 in Kampala Uganda and it will be hosted by Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL). WFAD has over 40 member organizations in the East-African Region, who all do fantastic work within prevention, drug addiction treatment and/or recovery and this is why the forum was hosted in East Africa. The World Federation Against Drugs is a multilateral Community of non-governmental organizations and individuals who share a common concern that illicit drug use is threatening the existence of stable childhood, families, communities and government organizations throughout the World. The World Federation Against Drugs hosts Regional Forums across the globe each year. The aim of the Regional Forums is to gather member organizations and other Civil Society organizations working in different regions to share best practices and strengthen capacity in networking and advocacy work.

The forum will address the drug issue from a wide perspective, including the drug situation in East Africa, and Asian experiences of drug demand reduction. The program will also highlight the convention on the Rights of the Child, Gender and drug abuse among young women, Promoting prevention, treatment and recovery though a drug free workplace, engaging with policy makers and African Union, and best practices in treatment and rehabilitation. With an aim to deepen cooperation between and within civil society in the region, to exchange best practices and enhance capacity in engaging with policy makers on regional and global level. 

Agenda for the WFAD Regional Forum

 

 

AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAPTERS DIGITAL MEETING

AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAPTERS DIGITAL MEETING

The Zoom meeting was hosted by Jeff Lee who invited the African National Chapters to be part of the meeting. The meeting was held on Tue Jan 14, 2020 2pm – 3pm (EAT). Uganda National Chapter was represented by Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) i.e. Mr. Rogers Mutaawe, Mr. Andrew Lubega and Ms. Barbara Nakijoba.

Issues discussed included;

  1. Review of minutes from last meeting and the future process
  2. Updates on African Regional NC Activity (please provide a brief input on your activity or any issues, questions you may have on your operation as a National Chapter)
  3. Activity Reports and Work plans 2020
  4. The Vienna NGO Committee
  5. Regional Event update
  6. Membership and Website
  7. Date of next meeting

Action Points:

  • Jeff encouraged NC to keep update of reports for purposes of monitoring and reporting
  • Scheduling a meeting for ISSUP National Chapters with support from African Union
  • Going forward, French to be added to ISSUP languages
  • Webinar on 20th Feb, 2020. Interested parties should register at the ISSUP Global Website
  • Another Zoom meeting to be scheduled for Early March

Uganda National Chapter Representatives for the Zoom Meeting

    Preparatory Meeting for the ISSUP Uganda Chapter Interim Committee

    A preparatory meeting was held on 29th November 2019 at UYDEL office and they discussed about recruitment of members, updating of Uganda ISSUP website, the work plan for 2020, Launch of the ISSUP Chapter in April 2020 and future plans. The meeting also agreed to hold an initial meeting with identified members on 12th of December 2019 to get more input from members on the best way to run the ISSUP Chapter.

    ISSUP Uganda
    ISSUP interim committee having a preparatory meeting on November 29, 2019. From L-R: Mr. Kasirye Rogers, Mr. Mutaawe Rogers, Dr. David Basangwa, Ms. Barbara Nakijoba and Mr. Lubega Andrew

     

    Compiled by Andrew Lubega

    Universal Prevention Curriculum for Substance Use (UPC) Training: School-Based Track for Prevention Implementers in Uganda (Trainers of Trainers), 12th-21st September 2019

     

    Training
    Trainers of Trainers (TOTs) Uganda Chapter with Dr. David Basangwa, E.D Butabika Hospital

    Psychoactive substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs) continue to be major problems around the world, taking a toll on global health and on social and economic functioning. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that, in 2015, about 250 million people between ages 15 and 64 used illicit substances at least once. Of those who use psychoactive substances, a significant number will develop substance use problems or SUDs. The 2015 UNODC survey found that about 29.5 million substance users suffer from SUDs, which means their use is harmful to the point they may experience dependence and require treatment. SUDs contribute significantly to global illness, disability, and death. So, the prevention of substance use and other social problems is a goal that can significantly improve the health and well-being of people around the world. In addition, the World Bank has pointed out that several low-cost interventions can have large-scale effects not only on population health but also on productivity. Thus, prevention can make a difference to the economic welfare of countries especially those in the developing world.

    Many approaches, which have been popular e.g., “scare tactics” campaigns, information-only educational approaches, and former users’ testimonials have been found to be ineffective in rigorous research. But research has also found that there are effective interventions and strategies that recognize when, how, and with whom to intervene to make progress in addressing substance use.

    Prevention does more than just prevent substance use. Its aim is to promote the healthy and safe development of children and youth to realize their potential and become contributing members of their community and society. The Universal Prevention Curriculum for Substance Use series, is designed to train prevention professionals, working in a range of settings to reach all populations, on research-based strategies developed to strengthen families, schools, community organizations, and other institutions.

    The Implementers series includes the CORE course and 7 specialty tracks. This introduction to the Universal Prevention Curriculum series for Implementers is designed to give participants a grounding in the knowledge and skills needed to undertake evidence-based prevention programming at the community level. The CORE is an introduction to the basic processes that underlie addiction and the brain, the basic pharmacology of the psychoactive substances, and the preventive mechanisms that have been found to be effective in more than 30 years of prevention science. Participants in the Implementer series are required to take this course first so they are ready to focus on the subsequent specialty tracks that address the primary settings where prevention practice takes place in communities. These include the family, school, workplace, and community-wide efforts involving environment-based policy, media, community systems, and monitoring and evaluation.

    The Colombo Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) organized a training for Prevention Implementers in the CORE Course in May of 2019. DAP then followed up with another training on the Specialty Track 3 of School-Based Prevention Interventions and Policies in September, 2019. Track 3: School-Based Prevention Interventions and Policies is part of the eight-track Interventions.

    This training was delivered over 10 days and participants were taken through the following courses:

    Course 1 – Role of Schools in Prevention

    Course 2 – Building Teams for Comprehensive School Prevention

    Course 3 – Creating Substance Use Prevention Policies in Schools (Practicum 1)

    Course 4 – Creating a School Prevention Climate

    Course 5 – Selecting Evidence-based School Prevention Curricula

    Course 6 – Action Planning to Create a Comprehensive Substance Use

    Prevention Initiative (Practicum 2)

    Course 7 – Positive Classroom Climate (Practicum 3)

    Course 8 – Interactive Teaching Skills

    Training goals included:

    • Presenting overview of the science underlying school-based prevention interventions and policies and demonstrate the importance of schools for implementing prevention
    • Presenting the three components of school-based prevention: School policy; positive school climate; and substance use prevention curricula for the classroom
    • Describe evidence-based approaches to strengthen school policies, improve school climate, and intervene directly with classroom prevention interventions
    • Provide effective planning approaches for administrators and teachers on how to implement evidence-based prevention in the school;
    • Provide specific skills for teachers primarily on classroom-focused

    DRUG FREE AND ADDICTION PREVENTION SCHOOLS CLUB

    • The school plays an important role in preparing children and youth to become fully contributing members of their families, workplaces, communities, and their society asstudents spend most of their time at school than in homes.  Early use of psychoactive substances increases a young person’s chances of more serious substance abuse and addiction.
    • The school environment influences how children and youth perceive the acceptability and benefits of, as well as the harms associated with substance use.
    • The Drug Free and Addiction Prevention School Club was launched at Namirembe Diocese School and education institutions in November. The club shall help to shape attitudes towards responsible behavior in particular towards substance use, teach appropriate pro-social roles and behaviors and reinforce the positive behaviors that children learn at home and in the community and also ensure   demand reduction among students.
    Training

     

    Compiled by: Barbara Nakijoba