AN anti-drug abuse campaign called “Save the Next Generation” has been launched in Chitungwiza.
The campaign, which aims to combat drug abuse and substance addiction, was organised by Pastor Tafadzwa Macheka of the United Ambassadors of Christ Church, alongside other stakeholders in the community.
Pastor Macheka said that the initiative’s vision was inspired by the successful conversion of a drug lord four years ago.
“Four years ago we won the soul of a drug lord and he shared some stories which I thought where fictional.
“We then decided to come up with a strategy and say let’s save these souls.
“In chitungwiza, we have seen many parents seeking help for their children who are into drugs.
“We have been seeing a lot of young boys, some of them under the age of 15 taking drugs,” said Pastor Macheka.
The campaign includes a strategy to provide support for children and young adults who are battling drug addiction, including the use of church premises as a station to accommodate individuals who are addicted to drugs.
The team also feeds families and invites addicts to church.
“We decided to turn the area into a station to accommodate even mwana adzingwa mumba.
“It’s an advantage to use the church, since we are already luring people to God, so it will be easy.”
He said the next step for the initiative is to establish a rehab centre and organise an event in April called “Show me Heaven” which will feature artists and offer counselling and preaching sessions.
“We want to turn it into a 24 hour centre and if God permits to have a rehab centre.
“We want to use it as a soul winning event where we will invite different artists before we engage in counselling sessions and then preaching.
“We want to pull youths using the artists. We are going to use it as a soul winning occasion,” said Pastor Macheka.
Samantha Josho, a mental health practitioner, said:
“The challenge with families with children who are abusing drugs is discipline. Many of the children want to experiment.
“Another challenge is that most of the parents will be outside the country and it is difficult for them to monitor their children.”
Knowledge Mubende from Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network said that over 60 percent of young people admitted to mental health facilities in Zimbabwe are battling drug and substance addiction.
“Crystal meth is very common and we have spearheaded the drug master plan to curb the scourge of drug and substance abuse in Zimbabwe.
“There is a need to reduce the supply of drugs and rehabilitate those into drugs. There is also a need for social integration,” said Mubende.
Teen Rescue Mission director, Abraham Matuka, said they are working to help the youths.
“The youths are getting into drugs due to peer pressure, while some want to experiment.
“We welcome this initiative because the issue of drugs needs us to come together to fight this menace.
“We are assisting youths in different vocational trainings as a way to fight drugs,” said Matuka.