Positivity is priceless and recovery from delinquency and addictions benefit the victim, families and our society. That is why these two inspirational quotes can change our lives:

“Listen more to the one who criticizes you and less to the one who praises you. Learn from them and do something about it” – Paul Kagame

“The discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude” – Oprah Winfred

The word ‘addiction’ is derived from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” Anyone who has struggled to overcome an addiction or has tried to help someone else to do so understands why. To be addicted means being sick in every dimension: mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, socially, economically and name it. The implications of all these are ingrained.

Sicknesses enslave human beings unless treated. Treatments are not sufficient means of recovery from our sicknesses without positive attitude on the tools used in treating the curable sicknesses that affect our wellbeing. Positive attitude by the addiction patient about the place where treatment is offered from, who is offering the treatment, how it is offered, when it is offered and what is offered are some of the critical aspects of the tools in treating addictions.

Mentally, positive attitude is consequential in limiting cases of depression, lessening risks of mental illness, aiding healthy thoughts about life. It also influences our response to challenges and opportunities that comes in life.

From our findings, some of our beneficiaries became victims of addictions due to either ‘extreme challenges’ or ‘extreme access’ to opportunities in their lives. Therefore, it’s the inability to manage some of the options life presents to us.

Modeste is one among some of Purpose Rwanda beneficiaries who became addicted to alcohol, drugs and sex due to having huge opportunity in accessing financial resources “I was among the top few men in Nyagatovu Cell who were able to earn at least 30,000rwf every day because I was fully employed.  My job was flourishing very well; I was able to buy every type of food stuff for my family as well as beverages for myself and friends.  My monthly income ranges between 600,000rwf to 800,000rwf. Having all these good opportunities was virtually controlling my life. I thought I was in heaven. Sometimes I would go to a bar and order everyone out, buy all the drinks there, drink until I cannot take more drinks. Little did I know that one time my opportunities will totally dry up. This situation made me sick and my wife abandoned me. With all these, I quickly increased the amount of drugs, alcohol and sex I was enjoying. My performance at work deteriorated. Eventually, just because of these bad habits, I lost my job, respect and lost money.”-Modeste says.

Modeste yet had this to say “I was introduced to Purpose Rwanda by Simpunga. Simpunga is a watchman at Purpose Rwanda. He told me his own story and how Purpose Rwanda helped him in overcoming his addiction problems and how he has changed the lives of many other addiction patients. I got inspired because I too felt trapped in life by my own issue of addictions. I accepted to visit Purpose Rwanda with Simpunga any time, and really I came to Purpose Rwanda.  I attended my first AA meeting in September, 2022.  When I went back home, I started reflecting about my former life, how I managed that life, how I misled others, how I can lead them back to a good path. I remained eager to come to Purpose Rwanda again. I would ask questions within myself, try to answer those questions. Then I asked Simpunga, how I can also become a Watchman. He says that after a full recovery, he can become one if he is committed to serve and transform others. He promised to recommend me to Addiction Prevention Strategist of Purpose Rwanda so that we can serve and help our sisters and brothers who need our help in order to lead addiction free lives and contribute in building our nation”.

One thing is certain: in life, there is continued learning and growth. We learn from our experiences-good and bad. These experiences shape us every day. They are our moral compass that guide in making individual or collective decisions. They are helpful to our cognitive life. This is also true to us all who have experienced life under addictions.

It is imperative to accept and remain positive that life interrupted by addictions can be recovered and begins again. Positivity in attitude and mind by the addicted person that addiction as sicknesses is treatable presents resourceful opportunity to recovery. Something that has a beginning also has an end. Addiction is as a result of human behavior and habits that are built overtime under specific environmental conditions. Yet another specific environmental condition can be shaped and this is deliberately done to flush off traces of addictions from the blood, mind, and spirit as well as in our body.

Modeste finally said this: “Now as I speak, and because of the transformation Purpose Rwanda caused in my life, my wife has eventually accepted to re-unite with me after 3 years of absence because of my addiction. Our Children suffered emotionally, psychologically, physically, socially and economically, but now, because of my recovery from addictions, they too have recovered from the effect of the problems I created. Now together with my wife, I have started running some small business out of which we are able to take care of the needs of our family”.

Another beneficiary by names Stella (not real name because she did not want to speak openly about the addiction story of her mother) “My mother was in addictions. She was taking alcohol and drugs everyday and gets drunk so much.  One day in 2021, when I returned from school after finishing my Senior Six final exams, something unusual happened. For the first time I found my mother was at home. I was happy and emotionally surprised. I had no words but had to ask her questions over questions and requested her to always be with us.

After a week, my mother explained to me what happened to her: that “I met with an organization that totally changed my life. It is Purpose Rwanda who advised me that leading life without addiction starts gradually and at the end, one can begin a new life which is full of respect and dignity. They told me many things and for sure I believed in their advice. That is why I have changed” This was what my mother told me says Stella.

Stella has this piece of advice to parents especially mothers: “you our mothers out there, do not abandon us, show us correct examples, addiction is bad, it ruins the future of your children, which is the future of Rwanda.  Am happy my Mum finally got healed and transformed totally because of Purpose Rwanda. Thank you Purpose Rwanda, thank you for the good work you have done to my family. May God reward you”

Whatever words and testimonies that were expressed by Modeste and Stella, the message is: Together, we can build a Purposeful, Positive and Addiction Free Generation here in Rwanda.