NGOs join hands to fight drugs

Bulumko High School pupils braved the scorching weather to attend an awarenss campaign aimed at helping them to stay away from drugs.

Khulani Library, in Khayelitsha, held an informative awareness campaign, at Bulumko High School, on Thursday April 12, to denounce the use of drugs and related substances at schools.

The library also urged the pupils to stay at school, adding that more pupils were being lured into drugs.

Various stakeholders such Empilweni- a place of healing, Partners after School Care Projects (PASCAP), the Film and Publications Board (FPB) and City’s Department of Health gathered at the school to share their knowledge with the pupils.

Pupils were told that education was key if they wanted to become better people and contribute towards the development of their communities.

They were warned against bad life choices and the outcomes of such choices.

Library representative, Yandiswa Pearls, said they wanted young people to make informed life choices. She said drugs robbed young people of a chance to achieve their dreams and goals.

Ms Pearls said they heard that some pupils at the school used drugs, and they felt obliged to help them.

She said they also wanted to dismantle some of the myths associated with drug usage and to understand the reasons young people smoke drugs.

“We want young people to stay away from drugs. But we also want to provide help to those that are already hooked on drugs. We want to change the reputation of our townships and schools. We can defeat drugs only if people can work together,” he said.

Health inspector from the City of Cape Town, Thembi Sifo, said most young people smoke drugs because they wanted to look cool. She said added that peer pressure also contributed.

“Peer pressure kills. Others smoke because they believe that smoking helps them to lose weight. Others smoke to relieve stress,” she said.

Empilweni manager, Lulama Mfuniselwa, said as an organisation they were there to assist young people when they have mental health issues.

He urged the pupils to act immediately should they notice or suspect mental issues with their peers.

He said there were lots of people in the townships who suffer from mental illness without realising it.

Grade 11 pupil, Onothando Mashexa, said she learned a lot about drugs and hoped that her peers would stay away from them.

She described drugs as dangerous. She said they had ruined a lot of young people’s lives.

Onothando urged young people to make wise life choices and to be at the forefront of the fight against drugs and crime.