As we near the end of the year, we are delighted to share more updates from DAPC grantees from around the world! This week, we focus in on activities from a grantee in Uganda, Kangai Integrated Community Development Initiative (KICDI).
Based in the Kangai sub-county, KICDI aimed to prevent substance use amongst youth in- and out-of-school through evidence-based prevention interventions. The partner made efforts to reach various settings to communicate consistent prevention messages through the school, family, and community, using different platforms such as religious institutions, media, and civil society groups. They conducted trainings for youth to equip them with social and communication skills, decision-making skills, how to better cope with anxiety, etc; all with the goal of strengthening drug resistance skills. In addition, peer educators were also trained and supported with the provision of brochures with prevention messages, flip charts, and stationary supplies to facilitate their training activities with peers. Project staff also provided technical support and follow-up to the activities of peer educators.
In addition to targeting youth themselves, KICDI also targeted settings and beneficiaries that also have a high influence on them: parents and teachers. Trainings on parenting skills were provided to families with the aim of increasing their knowledge on how to better take care of their children at home and improve parent-child relationships, reaching more than 1,000 parents throughout the project. The partner also conducted training sessions for teachers, with a focus on integration of substance use prevention segments in classroom programmes, on enhancing peer relationships, and on responses to inappropriate behaviours from students, as well as good classroom management practices. Lastly, community-wide awareness campaigns were held in different areas of the Kangai sub-county to inform the general public on the health, social and legal consequences of drug and alcohol use to the life of youth.
We hope activities from KICDI have not only benefitted the targeted youth directly, but also resulted in a cascade-like positive effect through the trained peer educators that can be sustained over time. To all partners and organizations, please do not underestimate the power of youth, and explore the full potential of young people as a force for change!