Sierra Leone
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Ahead of June 24 elections: SSDF educates youth on non-violence, drug, substance abuse

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

Ahead of the June 24 elections, the Sport for Sustainable Development Foundation (SSDF) has engage youth groups and community youth leaders from all walks of life in order to increase their knowledge on non-violence, drug and substance abuse in order to promote peaceful elections.The theme of the event is strengthening the role of young people in the prevention of election violence,

drug and substance abuse and promoting the sustainable development goals and the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.

The workshop was held on May 6 at the Beacon Field on Ferguson Street, Freetown in order to inform and educate youth on how to curb any potential youth violence ahead of the June 24, 2023 elections.

The SSDF uses sports culture to actively prepare and promote youth to understand their potential capacity and build a positive future. The foundation strongly believe that through sports, youth can live with their difference and challenges, to learn, respect and appreciate the value of others and how to positively deal with frustration among others.

The program Director, Ibrahim Sesay said they have proposed a two-week community football gala to promote community cohesion couple with the one-day workshop to educate young people on Election Violence, Drug Abuse, and the role of young people in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In remark to the youth present, Strategic Support Officer to the Deputy Inspector General of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kharuschev Kargbo said the youth has a significant role in the June 24 June elections. He noted that if the country is to have a peaceful non-violence free election, the youth need to distance themselves from drug and substance abuse.

He pleaded to the youth to help police through community police relations by passing a message of peace to their constituents and relating any issue of potential threat to the police.

Head of Internal Complaints and Disciplinary Units, Sierra Leone Correctional Centre, CSC Solomon Conteh encourage the youth to distance themselves from substance abuse and as well change their negative perception about the Sierra Leone Correctional Centre.

He said vast majority of inmates in the correctional centre are youth between the ages of 18 to 35. He added that the reason for the influx youth in the correctional centre is due to violence which is mostly fuel by drug and substance abuse.He canvassed the youth to maintain the highest level of civility as the country approaches the June 24 elections.Program Director Ibrahim Sesay concluded by highlighting to the youth the dangers of substance abuse. The workshop was climaxed with group discussions among the youth and the reflection of findings during the group discussions.