YES Programs



Alumni Lead Drug Abuse Prevention Workshop

KEN Substance abuse project june group pic

By Fatma Khalfan (YES ’18, Kenya, placed by ACES in Oregon, OH)

Earlier this month alumni Joyner Atieno 17’, Peter Kigika 18’, Pamella Makini 17’ and I, with the help of local volunteers Charles Thuo, Esther Nyakundi, and Kelvin Bosire, led a drug and substance abuse prevention workshop at a local school. We originally intended to hold it during Global Youth Service week but it had to be postponed because of floods that affected most parts of Kenya.

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The workshop was conducted at Kabete secondary school, which has participated in the YES program for years. We confirmed the topic after consulting with one of the volunteers, Esther Nyakundi, who is also a teacher at the school. We worked with 150 students on sessions such as strategies to handle peer pressure and making healthy choices, prevention and intervention, and information on where to seek help and support. Group activities included case studies, group presentations, and writing letters to their future self.

KEN substance abuse project june

We felt the overall project was a success in that students became motivated and opened up to a lot of things like parents who are using drugs. We also asked the school counselor to keep checking on the students and offer assistance.

At the end of the workshop, the students had a better understanding of the short and long term effects of drug abuse and gained strategies to handle peer pressure. We hope the letter they wrote to their future self will remind them that their dreams are bigger than using drugs.