As part of its fight against the scourge of drugs and substance abuse in Nigerian communities, a non-governmental organization, Health Education and Empowerment Initiative (HEDEN) has taken the anti-drugs war to secondary schools in Ogun State, South West of Nigeria.
With the approval of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, HEDEN started off its campaign for the school term with 4 Schools in Ado-Odo local government namely: AUD Grammar School, Unity High School, Ajogbo Grammar School and Sango High School.
The program involves talks and demonstrations, discussions, film documentary on drug abuse, role-play and question and answers, including face painting as an attraction to connect with the students.
A major highlight of the program is the documentary on the Fatima story of how she got involved in drugs, the consequences and how she was rehabilitated.
The film evoked a lot of emotions among the students after seeing the debilitating effects of drugs and substance abuse on one’s health and aspirations.
The program culminated in the establishment of Teenagers’ Network Against Destructive Actions (TEENADA) club in these schools. TEENADA is a health and life-skills club for in-school youths in public secondary schools.
The program officer of the organization Gideon Amusan stated that members of the TEENADA clubs will be trained and mentored by HEDEN throughout their school years.
Their capacity will be built in other for them to take control of their lives and to be able to adequately handle the business of growing up.
He further mentioned that among the training that will be give to the members of TEENADA are: leadership training, public speaking, self esteem building, handling peer pressure, ability to say “NO” to many other vices incidental to youths such as drugs and substance abuse, cultism, exam malpractices, rape etc.
According to the Executive Director of the organization, Mrs. Folasade Ofurune, unlike other school clubs that are narrowed in scope, the TEENADA club is all-encompassing as it addresses virtually all aspect of the business of youth.
She further mentioned that the TEENADA club is designed to help students, adolescents with life planning; formulating their own values; building satisfying and caring relationships; communicating effectively and making safe, responsible decisions about sexual activity.
The program is to continue in the other schools by the next school year.