Hundreds of youth from the Chitungwiza Seventh-day Adventist Youth Federation, in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, recently took to the streets and marched against rampant drug misuse by young people within their community.
One group of activists marched from Chinembiri Primary School in Seke, a distance of 1.9 km (or nearly a mile), while others walked from Chitungwiza Municipality Head Office in Zengeza, before convening at the Chitungwiza Town Center.
Speaker after speaker at the event identified challenges affecting youth, attributing the rampant drug misuse in the town, particularly among young people, to poverty, unemployment, physical and sexual abuse and parental failure to offer guidance to their children.
Justice Bennet Hlahla, the Seventh-day Adventist Chitungwiza Youth Federation president, said the awareness campaign was organized to ensure that the church played a role in addressing some of the social challenges affecting people, especially youth.
“We realize that we cannot totally eradicate drug misuse, but we can educate so that youth are equipped to make informed choices,” he said.
Innocent Chinhengo, youth pastor of the Chitungwiza Seventh-day Adventist Federation, said there is hope even among those who were already addicted to drugs.
Detective Sergeant Tendai Muchena, from the Harare Central Police Station, urged parents to offer guidance to their children to reduce the rampant cases of drug misuse. “The current economic challenges are forcing parents to divert all their energies to ‘bread and butter’ issues, while neglecting the moral upbringing of their children,” she said. “We have parents who think that giving their children too much money is love. No! These children end up using that money to purchase drugs, which is why drug misuse is rampant among children from well-to-do families.”