UNODC in association with the Church of North India, Synodical Board of Social Services (CNI SBSS), organized two workshops on 'Empowering Communities for Prevention of Drugs and HIV' in Tezpur, Assam, and in Shillong, Meghalaya.The workshops were held from 28th to 31st May, 2008 and were spearheaded by UNODC Projects IND/G86 and IND/I81, both of which work closely with communities in the North Eastern States of India.
The workshops were facilitated by the justice and development wing of the CNI Diocese of North East India - The Diocesan Board of Social Service (DBSS). The DBSS works through the local congregations, community based organizations and people's organizations. Forty two participants from three major Faith Based Groups in Assam and Meghalaya: DBSS, Emmanuel Health Association and the Lutheran Church attended the workshops.
Participants during the training
Participants representing community outreach workers, pastors, local youth groups and women's groups enthusiastically participated in the workshop proceedings. Over the training, they were given basic knowledge on drug and HIV prevention, risk and protective factors related to drug use and HIV as well as developing life skills to cope up with different pressure situations, leading to drug use and HIV.
The participants expressed their commitment to taking forward the prevention mandate and messages in the communities side by side with their ongoing work on malaria prevention, economic empowerment and food security issues. They said that the problem of drugs and HIV was recognized by the community, and they were glad to have empowered themselves with the knowledge and training to be able to address these problems.
Photographs from the training :
Finalizing the action plan
Role play by participants
One more workshop of a similar nature will be organized under this partnership in the state of Mizoram in the North East. These workshops are part of UNODC's efforts to engage with a varied range of stakeholders to spread the message on prevention of drugs and HIV. By partnering with faith based groups who have extensive reach and tremendous influence within communities, UNODC is able to multiply the impact of their workmanifold.