More help on the way to fight substance abuse |20 November 2023
Substance abuse is one of the most alarming issues communites in Seychelles are facing and thankfully there are various organisations that are lending a hand to help prevent the younger generation from becoming victims to drug and alcohol.
The Centre d’Accueil de la Rosière (CAR) and the Diocese of Port Victoria are jointly holding a workshop to equip a group of individuals on how to become a partner or a messenger on the mission towards prevention of substance abuse. The objective is for them to gain knowledge and skills to be an agent of change, a messenger who will be able to sensitise, educate and raise awareness against substance abuse in schools and communities at large.
A volunteer social worker, Cadress Rungen and Father Gérard Mongelard, both from Mauritius, are the ones conducting the six-day workshop being held at the new Centre Formation at Mont Fleuri.
The topics include what is substance abuse, addiction cycle, how to prevent peers from being involved, how to communicate and make a difference. Those taking part are from the Caritas group, Catholic Youth Movement, various parishes and organisations in the country.
Teachers preparing children for holy communion, teaching religions in schools, counsellors and staff from President’s Village are also among those attending the workshop.
Mr Rungen said drug abuse is a suffering in itself adding that compassion and words are not enough to stop the problem from ravaging the society.
We need to understand the situation and find ways to intervene by coming up with concrete actions. If we simply go around telling people to stop using drugs this will not help. This is why such sessions are important to help these individuals to get a better understanding and approach on how to pass on the message of prevention, he added.
CAR started in 2009 after several parents came to see the Catholic Bishop at that time, asking him to help their children who had become victims of substance abuse. Several parents were spending a lot of money sending their children to Centre d’acceuil de Terre Rouge in Mauritius, which was under the auspices of the Diocese of Port-Louis.
Bishop Denis Wiehe responded to their call by deciding to do something similar in Seychelles. CAR was formed with board members, employees and volunteers. CAR was providing a day-care and a residential service. The treatment was a holistic natural detox method – helping victims heal physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially and mentally. It received financial support through government grants and generous sponsors. However, from 2019, CAR faced many challenges which included lack of clients’ commitment, volunteers and funding.
The board took a decision to close the residential service and to refocus on a new way forward for CAR. Bishop Alain Harel and the CAR board felt it necessary to reorganise the association and provide some alternative support to family, friends and victims of substance abuse and proposed to have a listening centre, which was inaugurated earlier this year.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of one of the sessions.