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Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!

by International Blue Cross
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Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!
Give Childhood a Chance and Keep Youth Drug Free!

In the Republic of Congo, IBC and its local partner organisation CTPAD (Coordination Technique des Projets et D'Appui au Développement Communautaire) have been implementing a prevention programme in the local schools of Brazzaville since 2013. It focuses mainly on students between the ages of 12 and 18 and deals with life skills topics such as: addiction, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, violence and gender issues.

We receive very valuable stories from young adults who tell us how their lives have changed through the activities of the local Blue Cross.

A story about a young woman:

“I came into the world from a relationship of circumstances between a hemp worker father and an alcoholic mother, which meant that my childhood was not that of a normal child because she was unable to take care of me. My parents left me at the mercy of the members of their respective families, namely uncles, aunts and grandmothers who raised me not as born from their blood, but as a maid for everything, especially cleaning and other household work which was endangering my studies.

At the age of 12, the maternal family decided that I should live with my father who lived with his new wife, his sisters and his cousin in the same household. There, another ordeal begins. My mother-in-law mistreated me and my father spent his time in hemp. Reasons which led me to move to my mother whose new husband did not want me. I went back to my father and continue to suffer the nastiness of my mother-in-law.

At the age of 14, I was raped by a 30 year old person. My father was made aware of the situation, but he didn't help me. I spent hours crying.

At the age of 17, I joined my aunt. Thanks to her affection and her advice I started to regain courage.

In 2018, thanks to the existence of the “young leaders” (name of the life skills club), I learned about the life skills of the Generation 5 S* project. Since then, I have followed their activities until I have been offered the chance to become part of the Generation 5 S project through the peer education training carried out in December 2018. Since that time, Generation 5 S has guided my steps.

Out of an insecure broken girl, a self-confident courageous woman was born - thanks to the knowledge of the Life Skills Programme. This project makes me a responsible girl, someone I can count on. This pushes me to carry in me the values developed by this project and what I learn with it, I pass it on to those who find themselves in the situation that was mine before.

To conclude, all my thanks to God for having accomplished my destiny: to join the Generation 5 S project.”

* The 5 S stand for: Sans alcool, Sans drogue, Sans violence, Sans VIH, Sans discrimination

With your donation even more lives can be changed. Thank you for your generosity!

Generation 5 S  Outdoor meeting
Generation 5 S Outdoor meeting
Dancing promotes self-confidence
Dancing promotes self-confidence
Singing brings happiness
Singing brings happiness
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After the Christmas celebrations in the family circle, New Year follows. For some, the start of the year is full of goals, hopes and excitement for the events in the coming year. For others it is marked by worries and fears to be disappointed again in the new year. For both groups it is worth making a "Dry January", a month completely without alcohol. Some learn to celebrate without alcohol, others are prevented from forgetting their sorrow through alcohol.  

The challenge of the "Dry January" goes back to the educational campaign of the organisation Alcohol Change UK. The campaign began in 2012 to address the dangers of alcohol and addictive behaviour. 4000 people started the task seven years ago, today there are millions worldwide who intend to give up alcohol in the first month of the year.

Researchers confirm that a non-alcoholic month can bring about health changes. The effects are particularly great for people who drink a lot. On average, they lost around two kilos, blood pressure dropped by five percent, the risk of diabetes was reduced by 30 percent, the immune system was strengthened and the liver was able to recover.

The Dry January especially helps to get new self-awareness about one' s alcohol consumption. Children and Youth can be shown during this time which effects alcohol has on their health and behaviour. Especially the peer pressure among teenagers to drink can be interrupted by the Dry January and the trend of binge drinking at the weekend can be questioned.

In the coming year, the International Blue Cross will continue to carry out activities for children and teenagers to teach them “Life Skills”. Life skills shape the behavior of youth by giving them the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about alcohol and drugs and associated risks, including the transmission of HIV/AIDs. Life skills lessons are taught through peer education, which is based on role modeling and the ability of young people to become leaders and agents of change through empowerment and support.

Thank you very much for your donation! Happy New Year 2020!

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A review of national laws, regulations and attitudes for managing alcohol-related harms to young people in sports settings was carried out by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità.

The report provides some interesting insights, such as: 

  1. The prevention of alcohol-related harm to youth is an important matter within sport settings. 
  2. Preventing alcohol related harm to youth should be a priority of national sporting bodies.
  3. The 4 most influential target audiences in sports settings for initiatives to be activated to prevent alcohol harms to youth are players, coaches/training staff, spectators/fans and bar staff.
  4. The sporting setting itself has added value to promote healthy lifestyles, including activities to prevent alcohol-related harms to the most vulnerable population target: young people. 
  5. Despite the presence of laws and regulations to protect young people from alcohol harms, there is  an overall low level of knowledge and enforcement, at national level and in sports settings. 
  6. There is the need of cooperation across organisations to implement alcohol policies for youth. 
  7. With reference to sports settings, more efforts and resources are needed to overcome the main obstacles for effective implementation of alcohol policy, that are the lack of:  
  • regulations on alcohol advertising and sponsorship linked to youth and sports in the sporting bodies
  • bar staff training on responsible serving of alcohol
  • alcohol consumption policies for young players within sport
  • knowledge on alcohol related-harms and on laws and regulations on alcohol and young people including sports professionals
  • monitoring controls of sporting bodies by the government. 

The International Blue Cross has made it its goal to close these gaps. IBC is investing heavily in working with governments around the world to improve alcohol regulation. 

With your support you can close the gaps discovered by FYFA. Thank you for your donation!

Links:

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The Blue Cross of Nigeria addresses illicit use of dangerous drugs and alcohol and serves the people battling such problems. Certification and incorporation granted by the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2018  gave BC Nigeria access to NGO privileges. Team members were able to participate in national and international conferences and symposia on drugs and alcohol related problems.

The current insurgency of the Boko Haram in Nigeria coupled with poverty is a challenge that the Blue Cross of Nigeria has resolved to address. Nigerian youth traumatised by the insurgency have been forced into vulnerable circumstances (begging, human trafficking, drug abuse, alcohol misuse, crime, and other abuses as avenues for survival.

In response, BCN developed a strategic intervention program in 2018 to help widows, youths, children, the people most affected by the insurgency (known as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)) to find a way out of their vulnerable situations and give them hope. 

The BCN solicits food and materials for them, educates about the danger of using alcohol and drugs to cope, and promotes an alternate drug-free lifestyle. Training, seminars and workshops teach care givers how to handle trauma, and other psychological problems, that are the result of witnessing the murder and maiming of family members, and being left homeless, wandering in the bush for weeks without food and water.

The interventions have a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families, establishing a new foundation for life, enabling the hopeless to regain hope. “Lives are touched, lives are changed, lives are impacted, and hopes are rekindled because people like you and I care.“

Help give hope to children around the world and prevent them from slipping into addiction. Thank you for your donation!

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On March 8, 2019 was the International Women's Day. In many countries worldwide, large crowds called for more women's rights and gender equality on this day.

Equality of women and men is a cornerstone in the work IBC does in Chad, Congo-Brazzaville and Togo. Girls and boys are sensitized in gender-based violence and learn to critically reflect on inequalities persistent in our societies. They take part in common activities and learn to respect each other´s problems and needs.

One of the participants in Chad, Carine, 16 years old, talks about her experiences: 

„Through Blue Cross I became aware, how much I am exposed to discrimination and psychological violence – in my daily life with my family and out on the streets – just because I am a woman! Now I started to speak up against this. I talked to my parents and began to claim my rights at home. My brothers now share with me the daily tasks in the household – something which I was responsible before all by myself. I can communicate this awareness now to other girls and work towards a more just society. This means a big success for me and an important step ahead!” 

Life Skills Programmes - Empowering Vulnerable Youth in Africa

The Life Skills and Peer Education programme is a holistic prevention programme for disadvantaged youths in the field of alcohol, drugs, gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS. It targets mainly students and young people aged between 12 and 25 at public secondary schools as well as young people outside the school context.

By preventing youth from being harmed by alcohol and drugs, the programme decreases violence and disease in communities and enables the youths to lead healthier and fulfilled lives. Three activities form the core of the programme: Life Skills training, formation of young multipliers (Peer Educators) as well as media and policy work.

Thanks for your support!

Through your donation the projects can be further implemented. Women and men learn to make a difference in their environment and to break unhealthy structures for the long term. 

Help us to write more stories like the one by Carine. We are very thankful for all your donations!

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Organization Information

International Blue Cross

Location: Bern - Switzerland
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BlueCrossTweets
Project Leader:
Anja Tuchtenhagen
Bern, Bern Switzerland

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