The 2nd Caribbean Youth Forum on Drug Use Prevention gets underway in Nassau, The Bahamas, from July 31 to August 4, 2023.
Hosted by the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the conference seeks to prepare the young participants with the information and tools to support their active engagement in the various stages of their country’s drug prevention programme, where they can play a crucial and leadership role.
Saint Lucia will be represented at the by Darcy Vigier (delegation leader), Trevon Richard and Rakim Hippolyte.
The delegation was required to prepare an action plan for community-based implementation following the conference.
Over the past few months the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat-SAACS has been supporting preparation of the delegation’s proposal for the action plan.
Trevon Richard is excited to be representing Saint Lucia and looks forward to some meaningful engagements.
“I think it is very important to put people in similar locations in the same space to speak about their problems. The Caribbean region is a small place and we have similar struggles, so it is important to have all of us in the same space discussing how drugs affect our communities, how it deteriorates our health situation in the Caribbean. So I think this is really going to have Saint Lucia and the greater Caribbean to have a greater idea, raise the awareness about drugs and the issues that we have; these are not isolated but common issues.”
“This conference is almost like a competition, so the country with the best proposal wins US$2000.00 to implement their project. So, I believe our project will win and we will come back with the US$2000.00 to implement this project in Saint Lucia, and hopefully get buy-in from government and other stakeholders who will see this as an important project to raise more awareness about alcohol abuse and drug abuse in our communities and do something about it before it is too late,” Richard added.
SAACS will serve as the oversight agency for the training/capacity building and preparation of the team for the implementing of the project and will also provide oversight to ensure fidelity to proposed action plan. CICAD will be providing seedling funds for project implementation.
A pre-Forum training will be held on July 29-30 in Nassau, which will provide a platform for young people to develop effective and innovative youth-led drug prevention action plans for implementation in their communities.
It will introduce the youth leaders of each participating country with information on substance use prevention and help them understand the most effective ways of averting substance use. This will be followed by the Youth Forum on Drug Use Prevention from July 31-August 4, 2023.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs and the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat extend best wishes to the Saint Lucia youth delegation.
SOURCE: Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs