The Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED) in partnership with the Association of Progressive Youth of Liberia (APYL) is expected to launch a county-wide feeding program for substance users in Montserrado County in late March 2018.
Speaker during a mobilization and recruitment event in Paynesville City, the Executive Director of APYL, Reuben Bobby Logan called on substance users to be peaceful and cooperative in order to benefit from the initiative. The Coordinator of the joint program, also encouraged the participants at the event not to give up because there is still hope for them.
The AYPL executive further stated that through the feeding program substance users will be mobilized, recruited and identified for referral and other support including medical treatment. The youth leader said that the program will enable AYPL and COYPED to have a well profiled and an accurate database of substance users across the County.
Mr. Logan also informed the gathering that the project will target over 5000 substance users across the seventeen (17) electoral districts in Montserrado County as the First Phase of the program.
For his part, COYPED executive director, James Koryor encouraged the substance users to take advantage of the opportunity that is been afforded them through the youth organizations.
He said that the issue of drug abuse is not just unique to Liberia, but rather it is a global problem as such young people in Liberia should be taken care of as it is done in other countries.
The anti-drug advocate further declare the current drug situation in Liberia as a national emergency and should be given serious attention by national leaders stressing that Liberia as a country can’t address any other national social issue without given consideration to substance abuse.
“We are sadden to see our brothers, sisters, and friends and love ones in these helpless situation”…. James Koryor
Mr. Koryor also expressed appreciation to his partner APYL for the collaboration stating that it is only through collaborative effort that we can address some of the current challenges faced by our young people. He also told the substance users who he referred to as victims that while COYPED and APYL is trying to help provide meal for them at least every Sunday for now considering funding challenges, they will also engage national stakeholders to come in with resources to help the process.
“Some of us are tired and want to leave the streets because nothing on the street. but nowhere to go” Jacob Williams 28 substance user “, said.
In appreciation for the program, Jacob said that they are grateful to see other young people leaving their busy schedule to come and visit them and provide food for them.” These are some of the things we expect our representative and other government officials to do but everyone has abandoned us , so we thank God for APYL and COYPED and hope that other people can come in with support for the program to reach other communities because on Sundays it is difficult for us living on the street to get food” he noted.
The event was held at the Nathan E. Gibson High School Campus in Paynesville City on Sunday, as about sixty substance users benefited from the initiative by the two youth related groups.