In an effort to tackle alcoholism in poor urban neighborhoods, Bible Society of Kenya (BSK) held a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop in partnership with Murang’a County Government.
Alcoholism has had devastating effects on many residents of Murang’a County, a situation that called for immediate action.
“The alcohol problem is catastrophic. It is a disaster. Especially in Central Province and the areas around Nairobi, the alcohol problem is really huge,” said Ndirangu. “It’s been going on for 10 years now, generations are wasted, young men have become impotent, alcoholism, unemployment, disintegration of the cultural ways of living of the past and extreme capitalism. I think there are many reasons why this has happened, but it is serious. Many people are drinking very cheap alcohol which is dangerous for their health.” Says Boniface Ndirangu, a recovering addict.
After several discussions with the county government of Murang’a, BSK took the initiative of giving priority to the areas within the County that were gravely affected by alcoholism. Out of the 8 Sub-counties in Murang’a County, Kangema is the most affected and was therefore was selected to start off the programme
The area has 100 bars, compared to 4 public schools within its vicinity which increases the risk of young people exposed to alcohol and drugs of abuse. The report of the County Directorate on drugs control indicates that out of every 4 young people, 3 are users or addicts of alcohol or drugs in Kangema Sub-County.
The participants were drawn from Churches, County Government Ministry of health, Business community, local community and Entertainment industry. Positive feedback was received from the participants that appreciated the training and the efforts by BSK to curb alcoholism among the young people.
“I abused drugs for a long time until I had no life left. I took a break when I realised I would die young without even a family of my own. I decided to seek for help from the Church and I have seen great change. I established a shoe- shining business and got married. I am working very hard to support my wife and our son. From this training, I have gained skills so I can help my fellow youth who have messed their lives through alcohol and drug abuse, especially in the town.” Says Evanson Njoki, a recovered drug addict.
“As a Church minister, I find it very painful that I am not able to effectively reach out to people who have been affected by the problem of drugs and alcohol abuse. Specifically, families come to us seeking help for their youth who have taken the path of substance abuse and the best we can do is pray with them. We are not able to offer anything better than that. Therefore this training will go a long way to fill that missing link to enable us do a holistic ministry”, said Rev. David Ngeruro, ACK Muguru Parish.
BSK will continue to empower members of the community with the knowledge of handling issues affecting the society, and most importantly advocating for the use of the Bible for the holistic transformation of people’s lives.