June 1, 2022

Organisation fighting drug abuse through sport

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Tawanda Bote

The Zimbabwe Community Health Intervention Research Project (ZICHIRE) has begun a programme to
fight social vice including drug and substance abuse among youths, through sport.

The organization held its first event dubbed “Brother to brother” in Highfield over the weekend.

Speaking at the event, ZICHIRE director, Walter Chikanya said the programme is aimed at making boys
respect women and shun drugs.

“It is an anti-drug campaign with the aim of giving these boys knowledge about the dangers of drug

‘’We are also hosting this event because the 16 th of May was International day of the boy child so it’s
also part of the commemorations,” Chikanya said.

He added that the event was a mentorship programme aimed at using sport as an advocacy vehicle to
mobilise, sensitise, build and equip boys and young men with relevant skills.

‘’We saw that in the past many programmes to do with women have been done, but the boy child was
left out, so we are addressing that gap.

‘’This event is also aimed at addressing and encouraging health seeking behaviour among boys and
young men.

‘’Boys tend to shy away from health care when they are sick, hence we want to encourage them to visit
hospitals and get all the necessary help.

‘’Boys should also report abuse and also know the danger of illicit drugs such as ‘Guka,’” Chikanya added.

UNAIDS Community Support Advisor, Jeremiah Manyika said the programme was aimed at addressing
the problem of male late presentation at health facilities and low uptake of health services by the same

‘’These boys are also being taught to grow into men and they must know that being sick does not make
a man any lesser.”

‘’We are also encouraging the boys to go for HIV testing, because in the end most men die leaving children and wives alone because they do not want to seek medical attention early,” Manyika said.

One of the beneficiaries of the programme, 15-year-old Dillan Ndoro said young men should spend time doing productive things.

‘’We must spend time playing soccer and other activities so that we desist from drugs.

‘’If one takes drugs it causes one to lack concentration in class and also not to respect our elders and sisters,” he said.

Sporting disciplines that were held at the event included football, tug-of-war, draft, chess and netball.

The First lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa was the Guest of Honour at the event that was also attended by the National Aids Council, UNAIDS, Men of Equality and Harare City Health.

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