In the city of Bunia, capital of the Ituri Province, many young people aged between 12 and 17 years old, take drugs. This is a real harmful problem which affects their health, their education and their future.
Where does this problem originate?
Many young people are taking drugs because parents are irresponsible on the education plan. They do not care enough for their children. has an alcoholic father. His mother is not involved in their education. Joel and his brothers are thus without role models. This irresponsibility of parents pushes them to drugs. They have little hope to change one day.
Children are also easily influenced. Williams, who is 16 today, says he started taking drugs at the age of 12, influenced by his friends. “Today, I lost my worth, I am known as immoral and I feel like a slave to drugs. I cannot get through a day without taking drugs, and so, I force myself to get rid of it. But the effort is without effect”, says Williams. Joel and Williams both dropped out of school for the benefit of the street, like many other children in this situation.
How to solve this problem?
I think the origin of the problem is the lack of supervision of children. I urge the parents of young people to understand that they need to get involved in the basic education of their children to ensure the best possible future. If not, the results will be bad.
Around me, people say that one must know a child if one wants to educate him/her, but I would rather say that one must educate a child if one wants to know him/her. And educate, it is the responsibility of the parents: COACHING, LEADING and GUIDING.
I also recommend that the Government fully plays its role by placing a permanent mechanism to protect children from chaos that is the misuse of drugs throughout the country.
Translated from French by Matthew Khalkhali
Firstly published in March 2018
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