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Church uses sport to fight drug and substance abuse

Story by Yolanda Moyo

A local church has taken the fight against drug and substance abuse to rural communities in Matabeleland South province as part of efforts to complement the government’s efforts in fighting the scourge.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s appeal for churches to complement government efforts in the fight against drug and substance abuse among youths has seen the Seventh Day Adventist church working with its partners to host a sports gala in Bulilima District to educate young people on the effects of the scourge.

The campaign held this Sunday was characterised by various sporting activities such as football, volleyball, basketball and netball.

The initiative was welcomed by youths in the area who appreciated the church for its efforts to eliminate drug and substance abuse.

“We appreciate this initiative to fight drug and substance abuse through sport because it makes youth have something to do in the rural area. The fact that this initiative is not a once of thing but a program an ongoing initiative and this will help us as youth in the area to concentrate on the activities especially those that love sports,” said one of the youths.

“This initiative is going to capacitate youths with better skills as more initiatives are going to be implemented to empower them so they can get something to sustain their lives with. Even in campus we have students who are abusing drugs and this was meant to raise awareness and help them come out and get help,” noted another youth who spoke to ZBC News.

Organisers of the event said the campaign complements the government’s efforts and seeks to bring to the fore the effects of drug and substance abuse in an area flooded by drug peddlers.

“This is a good initiative but it is high time to take awareness campaigns to places that have been marginalised for a long period such as rural areas. Although drug and substance abuse seems to be prevalent in urban areas, the effects are also being felt in rural areas,” noted Mr. Brian Moyo of the Adventist Church.

“There is a need to talk about how Omalayitsha are bringing drugstore from Botswana and South Africa supplying youths. We are going to capacitate the youths around the area of Solusi so that we tackle this issue and avoid relapses,” he added.

The initiative is set to be taken to other districts in the country in partnership with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service.

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