‘Smart’ ANTI-DRUG programme gets under way

2016-05-18 06:00
At the launch of the Pietermaritzburg anti-drug smart clubs (from left) Shireen Anthony, Noluthando Nyandu, Mueen Khan, Kiara Simons and Jermaine Joseph. PHOTO: nicole john

At the launch of the Pietermaritzburg anti-drug smart clubs (from left) Shireen Anthony, Noluthando Nyandu, Mueen Khan, Kiara Simons and Jermaine Joseph. PHOTO: nicole john

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PUPILS from various schools across Pietermaritzburg and surrounds filled the city hall last week during the launch of the Anti­-Drug Smart Club programme.

Over 80 schools were invited by programme leaders to participate in the initiative which will mirror the Durban programme, founded by Sam Pillay, that has been running for over 10 years.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever, Shireen Anthony­, programme co-ordinator, said the initiative has been launched in the city in order to address the various social ills that are affecting the youth.

“We’ve taken the initiative to start the smart club programmes in Pietermaritzburg and have visited 80 schools where we presented our idea.

“The event [on 10 May] trained the five pupils that each school represents in order for them to go back and roll out the clubs in their schools. The clubs will be facilitated by the Msunduzi Municipality social work department staff who will visit the schools to encourage them and check on their progress,’’ she said.

The smart club programme will mirror the Durban anti-drug programme founded by Pillay.

“We needed to start working with pupils in their own environment and have a more long-term focus as many of them don’t understand the consequences of addiction,” he said.

The smart clubs address social ills that pupils face.

“These issues need to be addressed from a young age because drugs are so prevalent in schools and are targeting younger children,” said Pillay.

Pillay said it is important for children to understand what to do when they are faced with being offered drugs and they need to know how to handle the situation.

“There was no programme in place for them to go to when they needed advice and this is what the smart clubs now offer them,” he said.

Teachers were also present at the launch last week and were excited to find out more about the programmes.

“We are here to learn and take it back to our schools in order to motivate other children to get involved in this programme,” said Nevidika Ramchandar from Woodlands Secondary.

Nonhlanhla Zondi from Imbubu Primary said they are in desperate need of intervention as the drug problem involving children is of great concern.

“There is so much exposure to drugs, which leads to children dropping out of school. I hope that if children see what drugs do, and they know there is help for them, that they will stop taking drugs and focus on school,” she said.

For more information,
contact Shireen
Anthony at

084 457 7057 or 033 392 2316.

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