Nationwide yearlong drug advocacy campaign concludes in Zhemgang

To tackle the rising drug issues in the country, the Chithuen Phendhey Association, a civil society organisation initiated a yearlong drug advocacy campaign across the country. Covering all twenty districts, the campaign is marking its completion in Zhemgang.

Chithuen Phendhey Association undertook the advocacy programme on issues related to drug, alcohol and mental health across the country.

The campaign did not stop at schools and districts, it also reached remote gewogs and public centres.

The theme “Yes, we Care” underscores the urgent need for collective efforts and actions to demonstrate care and support for young people.

“Whether we are big, small or medium, it doesn’t look at us, whether we are king, labourer or anything it comes and It doesn’t look at whether we are male or female or it doesn’t look at us whether we young or old, it comes and attacks,” said Jigme Tshering, Volunteer, Chithuen Phendhey Association.

“In line with our campaign’s theme, we are working with young people, parents, educators, policymakers and communities to tackle the root cause which often starts in families. Over the next five years, we aim to make significant progress because we recognize that many issues originate at home in vulnerable situations and among susceptible individuals. That’s why we are here to offer our support,” said Ugyen Kelzang, counselor at Chithuen Phendhey Association.

The campaign emphasized the power of collective action in addressing the root causes of drug abuse, violence and mental health issues in the community by educating risks of drug abuse.

Students attending the programme found the advocacy programme beneficial in the fight against drug abuse and related issues.

“We are advised against drug abuse because it can lead to lifelong brain disease with no cure. Not only does it harm us but it also creates problems for our parents,” said Tshering Dolkar Kelzang, a student at Buli Central School.

‘I have learnt that drug abuse harms our brains. It not only upsets our parents but also negatively impacts our studies,” said Tandin Kinzang Gyeltshen, a student at Buli Central School.

The advocacy campaign commenced in May last year.

The campaign has reached out to more than 100,000 individuals including youths, working parents, communities, and those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and covered about 150 schools.

Pema Samdrup, Zhemgang   

Edited by Sonam Pem

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