Africa-Press – Mauritius. The Youth Empowerment Programme against Drugs (YEPAD), aimed to empower communities with the right knowledge and training so that they are able to provide information, education, and support to prevent drug consumption in their localities, was launched, yesterday, at the NHDC Sub Hall in Montagne Blanche.
The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, and the Deputy Speaker, Mr Zahid Nazurally, were present. YEPAD The programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with the National Drug Secretariat of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Launched on 1st March 2021 at the Roche Bois Social Welfare Centre, YEPAD aims to empower young people and other members of the community to enable them to sustain drug prevention activities in their respective locality and surrounding regions.
In the first phase, a Training of Trainers is being implemented in 26 regions by a core team of persons who are well acquainted in community drug prevention programme and who are active in regions considered as drug prone areas.
As at date, YEPAD has reached more than 400 participants in 17 regions around the country namely Roche Bois, Petite Riviere, St Pierre, Mahebourg, Cite Vallijee, Cite L’Oiseau, Cite Mangalkhan, Bel- Air, Triolet, Le Hochet-Terre Rouge, Vallée Pitôt, L’Escalier, Petite Rivière Noire, Plaine Verte, Rivière des Anguilles, La Tour Koenig, and Baie du Cap.
The second phase of the programme will be a roll out phase with the objective of sustaining activities against drugs in the 20 regions. The follow up will be ensured by the staff of the Harm Reduction Unit who will liaise with the different groups that have been trained in the first phase to ensure that drug prevention activities are implemented in their respective regions.
The activities will include distribution of pamphlets, talks against drugs, sport events for the youth as well as engaging the youth and adults in alternative activities like music, and clean up campaigns.