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Ensure accessible, evidence-based, improved and innovated sexual and reproductive health services for empowered citizens - district support

Barame SRH Districts
> Rwanda

Rwanda - Enabel, RBC and the Catholic Church partner to prevent drug abuse among young people

Rwanda - Enabel partners with the Catholic Church in the prevention of drug abuse among young people

Enabel/Barame project in collaboration with the Mental Health Division of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) organized a five-day workshop, from 20-24 June 2022, for Catholic Church Priests in charge of youth (chaplains) from the seven districts of intervention.

The training underway in Muhanga District, which brought together 60 priests from 53 catholic parishes and dioceses, was officially launched by the President of Episcopal Commission for Youth, Bishop Selvirien Nzakamwita.  It aims at  improving their knowledge in drug abuse and substance use prevention including the targeted communication skills for a positive behavior change.
Participants will also acquire skills in individual counselling to be able to support the young people using or at risk of abusing the drug including alcohol.
At the same time, the developed communication materials including peer support group tool kit will be distributed to the chaplains for its use while communicating with adolescent about the prevention and the reintegration of drug users.

At the end of this workshop, these priests are expected to closely work with Youth representatives at parish level and use their existing communication channels up to the community level through ecclesial basic communities to support deployed efforts in fighting the drug abuse, support positively the users towards a free drug young generation.
The workshop will also induce the development of action plan to enhance communication towards behavioral change of young people using the catholic church structures from national to the community level.

This workshop is aligned with the principle of multisectoral approach to fight against drug and substance use and in relation to the recent findings of a study initiated by Barame/Enabel in 2020 on substance use in Rwanda which revealed that the in past 30-day prevalence among youth was 34% for alcohol, 8.5% for tobacco smoking, 2.7% for cannabis, 0.2% for glue and 0.1% for drugs such as diazepam. The mean age of onset of alcohol, cannabis and heroine are 13.1, 16.8 and 18.5 respectively.
It is expected to provide knowledge and basic skills on how to organize awareness sessions, detect and support youth with drug abuse issues and ensure early referrals for adequate management.  

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