In Windhoek's most disadvantaged areas the use of alcohol and drugs is on the rise and drug-related crime is wide-spread. Blue Cross Namibia has developed a project in 15 Windhoek high schools to prevent substance abuse by empowering students through peer-educators to lead healthy lives. Children and youth are taught "life skills," participate in after-school activity clubs like chess or soccer and hold rallies/awareness events in the communities to fight addiction and promote a drug-free life.
The past 5 years recorded a disturbing increase in alcohol consumption of more than 25% in Africa (WHO 2011), while the rest of the world remained stable. A recent Ministry of Health study on substance use in Namibia found that 53% of youth aged 13-30 use alcohol. Substance abuse contributes to problems like the spread of disease, including HIV/AIDS, crime and prostitution. There are limited resources to deal with the prevention of alcohol and drug use.
We empower youth to lead healthy, productive lives and act as role models for their friends, families and communities. We teach students the risks of alcohol and drugs in a vast school prevention program where peer leaders teach social skills, communication, decision making, self-esteem, problem solving and resolving conflicts - so called "life skills." After-school activity clubs, rallies and events keep students actively involved and spread awareness about the risks of drugs and alcohol.
Preventing substance abuse among youth decreases violence and the spread of disease, which allows children to lead a more productive, healthy life. Teaching the ability to make informed decisions empowers youth to be strong leaders and role models within their community, which helps to reduce the problem of substance abuse and its negative economic, health and social consequences on society. Through the Global Giving website we aim to raise $25,000 of the overall project budget of $250,529.