UNODC Awards Scholarships to Students Contributing to Counter-Narcotics Messaging

In observance of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June) and the National Mobilization Week Against Narcotics in Afghanistan, UNODC in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) organized a "Story Writing Contest" among the 12 th grade students of selected high schools which are in the areas/police districts (PD) of Kabul with most drug addicts. The topic of the short stories was about the harms and dangers associated with drug use, the consequences of poppy cultivation/use of drugs and/or the real-life story of a drug addict or family of an addict. A total of 1,121 short stories were submitted which were evaluated by 3-layers of panels: first at school level, then at district level and finally at MoE level. Three categories of winners were selected whereby the 28 most inspiring stories are to be printed as a booklet and distributed to the schools and their authors are awarded a  one-year scholarship for Kankor Exam preparation (University Entrance Exam) while the next category of winners, i.e. authors of the next 95 best stories, received a consolation prize of a school bag filled with stationary and the final category of winners, i.e. 50 students, received a certificate of appreciation in recognition of their notable short story.

 UNODC and MoE held an award ceremony for the "Story Writing Contest" in the Science and Technology Auditorium of MoE on June 30th. Officials from UNODC, MoE, Ministry of Interior (MoI) and a student representative delivered speeches conveying counter-narcotics messaging to the audience at the event as well as to the wider audience throughout the country via the national and international media. Ms. Talal Musleh, delivering a speech on behalf of the students as one of the 28 scholarship awardees, stated "fighting against drug abuse needs our collective efforts". If everyone of us saves the life of an addict, we can eradicate the drug phenomena in our country" in her speech. UNODC will continue to support youth to deliver her message and liaising with MoE to explore ways in which counter-narcotics can be mainstreamed in the education sector.

 

Ms. Anubha Sood Senior Program Officer (Alternative Livelihoods & Counter Narcotics) presents certificate to a student.