November 24, 2017 By Victoria Saffa
As the country approaches the 2018 general elections, Network Movement for Youth and Children’s Welfare -Sierra Leone (NMYCW-SL), in collaboration with Action Aid International Sierra Leone, National Youth Commission, among others, yesterday held a day’s dialogue on drugs and alcohol abuse among young people in the country.
The dialogue was held at the Grassroot Gender Empowerment Movement (GGEM) hall on Jones Street in Freetown and brought together different organisations with the theme: “Addiction and substance abuse with the slogan keep away from electoral violence, love one another”.
National Coordinator for NMYCW-SL, Haji Bah, said the dialogue marked the 19th day activism with a goal to advocating against substance abuse among children and young people during electoral events.
“As the country approaches the 2018 elections, we have recently seen a constant trend of political violence, inter-party and other electoral events. The police have vividly indicated that young people are more involved in political violence either being used by politicians or their colleagues,” he said.
National Chairman, Sierra Leone Alcohol Policy Alliance (SLAPA), Ibrahim Kamara, said drugs and alcohol abuse is a major cause of violence among youth, noting that as an organisation they have worked very hard for government to enact Alcohol Policy in Sierra Leone.
He said excess intake of alcohol has led to many forms of abuses including rape, among a host of others.
Jemilatu Jalloh from the National Youth Commission (NaYCOM), said as a commission they have been working with different organisations in the fight against excessive intake of alcohol among youth.
“The campaign is timely, and if the fight continues, the country will be violence- free before the 2018 elections,” she said.
Executive Director, Foundation for Rural and Urban Transformation (FoRUT), Jenneh Jalloh, said globally and nationally, alcohol is seen as drug diseases, though many use it as a life style practices.