Gugulethu children and the youth were equipped with information on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse as part of their school holiday programme.The event took place at Luyolo Centre and was sponsored by Pastor Vuyani Buwe of Word of Life Church.There were rehabilitated drug addicts who shared their past experiences of abusing drugs and how they managed to overcome the habit.Buwe said the event was aimed at addressing issues mostly affecting the youth in society and also to do preventative measures for those who are not yet involved in drugs.“We have problems of moral decay in society, which sees the youth becoming drug addicts and alcohol abusers. We brought those who served time in prison because of drugs to share their experiences. We refer those who want to change to rehabilitation centres for free and they stay there for nine months. We also raised awareness on human trafficking. We realised that most parents cannot afford to pay for their children in rehabilitation centres. We first take them for screening processes and interview. They just need to show us that they are serious about changing. We ensure that everything is done confidentially,” he said.About 200 children attended the programme a day, said Buwe.They also took part in different sports activities such as table tennis and chess, music, dance music and other activities. Buwe said they take youth between the ages of 18 to 25 years of age.Nompumelelo Mkosi, 26, a former drug addict, said drugs destroyed her life.Mkosi said her life fell apart after she started with abusing alcohol.“I started with smoking cigarettes while I was in high school, because I wanted a sense of belonging to a group of my fellow school mates who were smokers. I had to follow everything they did. I failed Grade 12 in 2007 because we were bunking classes. I then started abusing alcohol. I had a salon that was making good, but I lost it after I started taking drugs. I got introduced to Tik through abusing alcohol. I stated stealing from home. I was raised in a good family and I was known for dressing expensive clothes when I grew-up,” Mkosi said.She wanted to repeat Grade 12, but she had to quit after falling pregnant, in 2009. Mkosi, who grew-up in NY126, said she then served two months in Pollsmoor prison, after she was introduced by her ex-boyfriend to the drug trade.“I had a desire to change my life after I was released from prison. I took initiative by telling my mother- who was disappointed with me up to then- that I wanted to go to rehabilitation. The Christian rehabilitation Centre helped me to change. It was not a normal rehabilitation for me, because everything was done based on spiritual life. If it was not for that, I believe that I would have gone back to drugs by now. I did not have an interest in religion before that, but they taught me to find myself spiritually which was lacking. I was never happier than this in my life,” she added.Mkosi said it is not easy to overcome the addiction, but it needs one not to stop trying.Yisiwe Nqeza, the group facilitator at Realistic in Gugulethu, said they are working close with the church.Nqeza said they help 25 youth who want to quit drugs, in a period of six months.