Waii, Community-based action for drug abuse prevention and support for substance abusers in Tripoli

Summary

About the project

The “WAII” project intends on establishing a sustainable system to address the drug problem in Tripoli. To do so, Waii aims at contributing to the development of a comprehensive national prevention strategy against substance abuse through providing governmental and non-governmental community centres, civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social service centres with effective mechanisms for drug prevention within the local communities inTripoli.

WAII is funded by the European Union and implemented by Oum El Nour and the Safadi Foundation, in close coordination with relevant ministries and key actors in Tripoli.

This project is one of eight that fall under the EU-funded “Social Justice Programme” (SJP). The SJP programme’s objective is to advocate for democracy, human rights and social justice in Lebanon, promoting good governance and gender equality at its core. Overall, the SJP programme supports the strengthening of the institutional framework for the protection of human rights and the development of democratic governance in Lebanon.
Key data of the WAII project

• Implementation period: October 2016 - September 2018
• Beneficiary: youth, parents, CSOs, CBOs (community-based organisations), SDCs (social development centres) in the wider Tripoli area
• Budget: €500,000.00

Overall objective: To create a sustainable and strategic system on a local scale in the Tripoli region, contributing to a consolidated national strategy for confronting the drug problem across Lebanon.

Project purpose

-To equip local CSOs/CBOs/NGOs and SDCs with effective mechanisms for addressing drug prevention within communities in Tripoli.
- To improve coordination mechanisms among all relevant actors in effectively responding and participating in drug-related matters as part of a common short-term approach in Tripoli.

Activities

- Assessment of substance risk exposure and abuse challenges in Tripoli.
- 163 awareness sessions and interactive activities for 5,000 youths from 8 to 24 years old.
- 150 youths interact through anti-drug groups for the peer-to-peer prevention approach.
- 200 sessions on life skills for 20 groups.
- Awareness sessions and interactive activities for 750 parents.
- Al Kobbeh prison: Imprisoned youth will benefit from improved psychological and judicial follow-up and they will be better informed on drug exposure and abuse problems.
- Hotline service: This service is available for users, abusers and addicts, and will serve as a referral tool for the counsellor answering the calls at the reception centre.
- Capacity-building program for key actors in drug prevention.
- Capacity-building program in advocacy actions.

Updates

The project aims at establishing, within the area of the city of Tripoli, as ustainable system that would go in line with the development of a unified national response to confront the problem of substance use across Lebanon. This will be achieved through providing local social centres (governmental and non-governmental), CSOs, NGOs with effective drug-prevention mechanisms, and through improving coordination mechanisms among all concerned parties. The field study conducted among parents and youth in Tripoli showed that 60% do not know who to refer to when seeking help or obtaining information. The study also showed that 51.5% of drug users started their usage at a very young age.

A three-day training workshop entitled “Capacity Building Training for Local Activists” was held at the Safadi Cultural Center,with the participation of 30representatives from engaged associations and organisations. The training formed attendees to develop a targeted preventive and educational strategy to address the problem of drug usage within the context of the specificity and diversity of Tripoli’s communities.

Direct prevention is taking place on the ground through awareness sessions for youth and parents. 160 awareness sessions targeting 5,000 teenagers are taking place, including life skills sessions to increase protection for kids and youth connection workshops, which engage young people in creating and sharing awareness tools, such as bracelets and posters.The parent sessions consist of awareness meetings with 600 parents and workshops with 150 parents.

The project contributed in building the capacity of NGOs, CBOs and SDCs staff on introducing drugs awareness in their organisations Plans of Action. Each of the beneficiaries will receive a financial support to allow the implementation of their Plan of Action.

Together we can make a difference… A sustainable and strategic system at a local scale is a must since we are all responsible for building the future of our children; let’s build a world full of resilient personalities to stand against all the factors that lead to addiction. Mireille Khoury, general manager, Oum el Nour