By Joanna Dukkipati
Joanna Dukkipati and John McCarthy are working in our Regional Office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Joanna is supporting our partner Young Africa through capacity building. You can follow their updates using the hashtag #SERVEInHarare
Young Africa Zimbabwe in partnership with Zimbabwe Association of Occupational Therapists (ZAOT) organised an event to increase awareness on substance abuse on Friday 24th October 2014. It was called “Choose Life. Say No to Substance Abuse.” This event was funded by SERVE as part of our ongoing commitment to young people in response to challenges in their community.
The day began with over 80 people participating in a 5 km Awareness Walk in Chitungwiza. The participants included students and staff of Young Africa, representatives of Zimbabwe Association of Occupational Therapists (ZAOT) including trainee Occupational Therapists (OTs), participants from neighbouring colleges such as Transparency College, Key College & Ezekiel Guti College. The walk concluded at Young Africa campus followed by informative talks by OTs about the ill-effects of substance abuse.
One of the young participants, from Key College said, “My name is Perfect Koza. I am 15 yrs old. I have come to participate because this awareness day will enable us to help other teenagers. When I go to school everyday, I see many people sitting around doing nothing and some of these people are of my age.” Young Africa student Mona Lisa Glani elaborated, “Today we are spreading the news about effects of drug abuse- it is harmful and can lead to lung cancer. I want to help achieve more awareness so it can stop.”
This event was a stepping stone and Young Africa hope to organise events in the future that focus on engaging with the community. See more photos here