Children say ‘no to drugs’

2016-06-02 06:00
 Photo: supplied School children make their disapproval of drug use known as they present their research to their peers as part of TADF’s anti-drug educational competition

Photo: supplied School children make their disapproval of drug use known as they present their research to their peers as part of TADF’s anti-drug educational competition

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TENS of children from across the wider Tongaat area stood up and made their voices heard recently as they addressed the endemic issue of drug use and abuse.

The Tongaat Anti-Drug Forum (TADF) supports an initiative called the KZN Slots School’s Competition, which seeks to educate primary and secondary school children of the dangers of drug use through hands-on learning techniques.

These include the creation of drug awareness posters and the presentation of their research so that pupils can demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired through the various stages of the competition.

The programme is the only one of its kind in the province, and aims to highlight the scourge of drugs through the active, healthy and incentivising structure of a competition.

The finals of the competition’s first phase - the speech contest - were held on Wednesday, 18 May for primary schools and on Friday, 20 May for secondary schools, with a number of eye-opening and meticulously researched presentations given by the children.

Convenor of the competition, Jackie Chetty said she was very impressed with the standard of work the children submitted and their level of understanding of the subject matter.

“We were very impressed with the content and deliverance of the speeches and all participants performed very well. The winners will be announced at the awards evening on 16 September,” said Chetty.

“We were pleased to witness such talent among our youth and we believe that this generation will change the plight of our community with their efforts to eradicate drug abuse. We would like to extend our gratitude to all participating schools and our adjudicators.”

Other aspects of the competition include a poster competition, community awareness and sketches highlighting the problems that come with drugs. TADF president, Clyde Pillay addressed the fact that children are most vulnerable to the lure of drugs as they are generally the least informed about the risks.

“Research indicates that the youth are most vulnerable to drugs and have become the primary targets for drug users. Surveys indicate not only an increase in the number of drug users, but also an alarming decrease in their average age,” said Pillay.

“Statistics show that the use of cannabis, tik and cocaine is twice as high in SA as it is anywhere else in the world. These statistics also show that at least one in two South African children admit to experimenting with drugs,” he added.

The KZN Slots School’s Competition, run by TADF will give away a total prize money of R20,000 for continued anti-drug education initiatives to the winning schools.

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