NATIONAL EDUCATION CAMPAIGN DIVISION
The aim of the National Campaign Division is to reduce the demand for drug abuse in Zambia. This is done through six (6) main activities namely;
- Counselling and Re-Integration Programmes,
- Prevention Education,
- Media Campaigns,
- Alternative Development and
- IEC Material Production.
The objective of counselling is to improve the personal and social functioning of the- would be abusers, drug abusers and drug dependent persons before they become serious burden to themselves, the family and the community at large.
The responsibilities of our counselling services is to ensure that all clients who pass through the office receive effective counselling care, with drug users at an early stage in order to limit the likelihood of social or medical complications as consequences of their drug use and modify behavior of an abuser involving interaction between the family and the community and also design appropriate intervention strategies required and establish immediate and long term objectives with respect to the person involved in treatment and aftercare. Additionally it’s also important to collaborate with other agencies in the provision of vocational services as part of the re-socialization process and further evaluate the cases and compile data and information on drug abuse trends in the country. The counselling is conducted on one to one, group counselling, family counselling that also includes drug testing.
Diversion is the channeling of children in conflict with the law away from the formal court system through the development and implementation of procedures, structures and programmes that enable most children to be dealt with by non-judicial bodies, thereby avoiding the negative effects of formal judicial proceedings. Diversion can be initiated anytime from the apprehension of a child by DEC, Police or other relevant authorities, through to any point before the final disposition of the hearing (an admission or finding of guilt following a trial). Ideally, diversion should take place at the earliest opportunity, to minimize a child’s contact with the formal justice system, and then harm it causes.
Diversion does not mean that the offending behavior of the child is ignored. Rather, it allows steps to be taken to identify the needs of the child and tackle the root causes of the child’s behavior in order to prevent further offending. Diversion differs from alternative sentencing, which is a community- based disposition of a case following a trial and finding of guilt. Diversion, on the other hand, occurs any time before a trial has finishes. In addition, according to international standards, diversion should only be applied where the child’s consent is obtained.
The National and Diversion was developed with the concept of National Child Reform with an effort aimed at bringing Zambian Child Justice in line with international standards through the support of our key stakeholders who include Community Development and Social Services and UNICEF. The programme has since been included in the child code bill which is currently before parliament. The target age group for diversion programme is between 8- 18. The programme has been on pilot in Lusaka, Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi, Ndola and Kitwe and soon to be introduced to other districts soon to be identified. The Commission is well known for law enforcement and provide a service in diversion programme. The Commission through National Education Campaign Division (NECD) has since managed to integrate one hundred and twelve children in the society. However, the children enrolled on diversion programme depends with the evidence, gravity of the offence, and how often the child has committed the offence. This is done before the child is charged or persecuted through criminal justice system.
Under Prevention Education we have the following Programmes;
Institution of Learning Programme
The purpose of this program is to enlighten individuals in institutions of learning on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse from elementary level of education to institutions of higher learning that is colleges and universities. This is aimed at creating a conducive learning environment free from drugs.
The responsibilities are to establish an effective school program regarding drugs and health living styles and prepare basic and accurate information on the nature and level of drug abuse in schools thereby enhancing school support in drug abuse prevention.
Other accountabilities of the program are to develop and undertake school curricular in drug issues in all institutions of learning and also prepare training materials for Anti-Drug clubs. Additionally the program interests’ school authorities, using the disciplinary approach in formulating school policies aimed at preventing drug abuse.
This programme is intended to educate community members of all age groups on the consequences of drug trafficking, drug abuse and money laundering and also to mobilize community action in an effort to reduce the demand for alcohol especially the illicit type and cannabis abuse.
The objective of the programme is to enhance the involvement of community groups and Non-Governmental Organizations in drug and alcohol prevention by ensuring that effective co-ordination among agencies working in other areas are undertaken on drug prevention and healthy living and disseminate information on drugs, alcohol and the dangers associated with drug abuse.
The objective of the programme is to reduce drug and alcohol abuse among workers and develop guidelines for employers and workers in organizations for development of policies on drug abuse in places of work.
The responsibilities are to design workplace programmes that will reduce the demand for alcohol and drug abuse among workers by promoting healthy living among workers through educational programmes. Furthermore, the programme targets at designing programmes that will deal with a workers at risk by introducing the counselling programme and using already existing infrastructure in the workplace.
Information and Education Material Production
The objective is to publicity on drug issues through the electronic and print media is a sure measure to reach out to a vast audience on a regular basis as part of the campaign of drug abuse prevention.
The responsibilities of the programme is to design drug abuse prevention campaign with media organizations because people have now resorted to the use technology as part of their lives. Researching and implementing on the messages that have positive impact on the community on drug abuse issues in now the order of the day and also enhance media co-operation in drug demand reduction. Similarly dissemination of anti-drug messages through locally produced literature of all types such as Brochures, Calendars, News latters, Bulletins etc.
The education and preventive under this programmes are conducted on Radio and TV Programmes. Through News Papers, Social Media and other forms of technology.
The National Education Campaign Divison (NECD) have been running a project called “Get Ahead’’ funded by UNICEF- Barclays Bank which began in 2013 . The aim of the project is to empower the youths in entrepreneurship skills so as to deter them from abusing drugs because the trained youths were at once abusers among which some have accessed some revolving loans. This is an ongoing activity.
The FISP is another alternative the Commission uses to help farmers engage themselves in productive farming rather than focusing their energy and efforts in cultivating cannabis which is illegal and harmful to the community.
Peer education is founded on the belief that peers exert a certain amount of influence over each other as such the Commission through National Education Campaign (NECD) trains and empowers peer educators with accurate content and enhancing their skill to be supportive and develop others because it is essential for this concept to be effective. Peer educators are perceived as credible sources of information. This has been shown to be particularly effective amongst the youth population. Peers and peer education are an important influence and approach in changing health behaviors and the aspect of fighting the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse and one of the beliefs of peer education is that it is cost effective.
Not only is peer to peer learning an effective way to transfer knowledge among associates, but it also serve as a cost-containing exercise in not having to hire external experts each time there is a knowledge gap in the commission. Trained educators helps in enhancing our services in the communities.
Family and Parenting Skills
Family and Parenting Skills Training is a program conducted by the Drug Enforcement Commission through National Education and Campaign Division (N.E.C.D) to enhance protective and reduce the risk factors that if not handled well can lead to family breakdown. The program is aimed at enhancing parenting skills knowledge particularly raising of children/ dependents in an effective manner free from individual, social and environmental destruction at a family level and also build/bonding between parents and child relationship through; increased communication, trust, problem solving skills and conflict resolution.
The provision of the training deepens positive parenting skills and develops positive child behaviour and defines parenting skills based on interventions to prevent drug abuse among children and enhance family and parenting skills at various family levels.
Family Protective and Risk Factors in Substance abuse
Critical family protective factors
Secure and health parents/ child attachment, Parental supervision, Monitoring Effective discipline, Communication of pro-social family values, Parental involvement in child’s life and Supportive parents (emotionally, cognitively, socially and financially
Main family risk factors
Lack of bonding and insecure relationship with parents, lack of significant relationship with caring adults, ineffective parenting, chaotic home environment, Parents and siblings who use drugs/substances and social isolation
Main Elements of the Programme
- Training parents to strengthen their parenting skills
- To train children in personal and social skills
- Family practice sessions
Organization and Management of the Programme
Enrollment of more than the number you want to graduate followed by conducting the first session soon after enrolment. Then after the enrollment can also be done by talking to elders and leaders in community –based organizations. And also by networking with faith-based organizations ( FBOs) (E.g. Church groups)
The duration of the Family and Parenting Skills Training Programme requires minimum of 8 sessions of two hours each (16 hours). The training is further divided into three segments;
1 Adults, (Parents and guardians)
2 Children (Any child in the family) and
3 Family practice sessions (Parents and Children)
Maintaining Attendance of Parents
Organize refreshments, transport / transport allowance if necessary, provide certificate of attendance, use learner centered methods (with opportunity for practice)
And conduct a graduation ceremony
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Evaluation is done 3 to 4 months after initial training and Evaluation tools such as Focus Group interview guide or questionnaires are used.
The training program is very important because it’s highly effective in preventing substance abuse and other risk behaviors and has long lasting effect in that it shows delayed initiation of substance abuse, improve youth resistance to peer pressure and use of drugs. Furthermore, it improves and sustains family and child management skills and it’s cost-effective.