Objectives of the Beauty of Free and Freed session:
To help the youth understand and accept themselves as useful persons in the community. Therefore, this encompasses a lot. It means that one should be free from addiction, should abstain from addictions, and should be aware about the dangers of addiction.
To bring about voluntary change in the client by establishing feelings of mutual understanding.
To help individuals overcome their immediate problems and also to equip them to handle future problems.
Beauty of the Free and Freed is a session and an indoor program held by Purpose Rwanda and its main focus is to create an awareness to the youth about various types of addiction and its associated dangers so that they do not fall prey to them.
On this day, a discussion was conducted majorly focusing on substance addiction under the theme “Addiction Awareness as a Resource to Addiction Prevention Today”
During the session participants engaged in a heated debate that was guided by the question: What are the major issues that are leading to substance addiction among the youth in Rwanda today? The following were some of the points given:
Poor stress copying skills and mechanisms; peer pressure and inability to overcome or contain the pressure due to fear of losing friends; inability to connect with friends or others. That there is a feeling of rejection or inferiority and superiority complex, mental illness such as depression due to multiple factors including unemployment, loss of business, death of a close relative, engaging in unprotected sex which results in unwanted consequences, separation between a boy and girlfriend, early marriages and inability to cope with realties in marriage among others, and poor social skills or lack of social support.
The points mentioned can offer some guidance to the youth. Avoiding addictions is a key focus of Purpose Rwanda. Purpose Rwanda advices the youth who find themselves in a situation leading them into addiction to seek immediate advice from those who are older than them, especially those who disregard addiction. Above all, Purpose Rwanda is there for you to overcome any fear or factor that may resort to addiction.
The second question was about addressing addiction. In what ways can addiction be prevented? The following were some of the points of advice to the youth or any potential addict:
Effectively deal with peer pressure (groups); deal with life pressure through exercising, reading, volunteering with less advantaged, creating something positive and relaxing helps take the mind off instead of using drugs to relieve stress; keep a well-balanced life, personally examine the risk factors. There is a strong need to use TV, radio, and social media to educate families about drug abuse prevention. Educate doctors, patients and families about good addiction treatment including medical providers, addiction specialists and therapists, which Purpose Rwanda is well versed to handle. Make proper drug and alcohol use screenings standard for care. This should be a universal practice for the government.
The third focus area reads as follows: Explain how Purpose Rwanda can intervene in the prevention of the high rate of addictions among Rwandan youth. Here are some of the valuable answers given:
Purpose Rwanda should sensitize and create awareness among Rwandan youth through trainings and conference sessions, offer counseling services to victims and to those that are not yet affected in the form of prevention before they occur, mobilize community members and teach them various negative impacts of addiction, and advocate and lobby resources for the youth from the government and other development partners. This may help them to engage into meaningful development projects. There is a focus to engage and train youth about income generating activities that will help them earn a living and start appropriately saving for the future. The youth should be made to understand that they are the ones who will take Rwanda forward. They are the future! This requires commitment, responsibility, patriotism, and taking part in leadership positions and encouraging each other on positive aspects of life. They should participate in national development focused on socio-economic transformation, free from addictions that might otherwise strongly effect their motivations and passions.
We all have different purposes in our lives. These purposes should not be destroyed, rather they should be strongly nurtured and made to grow and lead to positive changes in the lives of these individuals and out into the world.
At Purpose Rwanda, we believe that each individual is unique with a unique ability that should be used to develop themselves and the communities they live in.
The session was successful; the participants promised to come back to attend the next session.