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

ICUDDR 2020 Conference

Event Date

The International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) will be holding its annual conference at the Sukosol Hotel in Bangkok Thailand, July 13-15, 2020.

ICUDDR supports the rapid improvement in competencies and skills among current and future generations of addiction professionals, to meet the increasing demand for prevention, treatment and public health services. Toward this end, the ICUDDR facilitates networking among universities to promote high quality education and training in the field of addiction prevention, treatment and public health interventions. It also pursues related applied addictions research, outreach and advocacy.

Call for proposals

We are accepting abstracts for 1.5 hour panel presentations and 3 hour courses. There are two categories for which you can submit a proposal:

Panel proposals: three or four linked 15-20 minute plenary presentations on work force development; excellence in higher education; combining research, education and practice; university community engagement; or other topics related to the ICUDDR mission. You may submit a full panel with three or more presenters, or a single presentation 15 – 20 minutes in length, that if accepted, will be joined with presentations on a similar topic.

Master Class or Workshop proposals: 3 hour long break-out session. These sessions will have smaller groups (fewer than 50) and are designed to be interactive, fun and skill-based learning sessions for academics who conduct research and teach in the area of drug demand reduction.

Please keep in mind our mission and goals when submitting your proposal. Please send proposals clearly marked as plenary panel or master class/workshop and in the format of an outline and abstract no longer than a page each. Please attach CVs or resumes of all presenters and send your proposal to eylesc [at] icuddr [dot] org.

Some partial scholarships available for airfare and hotel are available on a limited basis.

** Please note: Like many of you, we are concerned about COVID-19 and are following its spread closely. The safety of all of our members and participants is incredibly important. We will be delaying online registration for our conference until April 15 as we watch what happens. We will also extend the time for submitting applications for presentations and travel support until April 1. Please continue to submit your presentation proposals, because if travel to Bangkok looks problematic for July, we will hold a virtual conference instead with all presentations held online and recorded so that people in all time zones can participate.

We appreciate your patience and will continue planning for our live conference in Bangkok with the expectation that the epidemic will have run its course by July. We will have more information in April and will make a decision at that point in time and open registration for either a live conference or a virtual conference.

If you have questions, please contact Cary Hopkins Eyles at eylesc [at] icuddr [dot] org.

Event Language


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.



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 (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





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


    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


    • 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.


    Compiled by: Barbara Nakijoba