Church of Scientology Pretoria at Center of Emergent Mass Drug Prevention Movement Throughout Africa

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The grassroots momentum carried by the Truth About Drugs initiative continues to grow, as shown by its ripple effect in just one recent week.

Tribal leaders in Manshane, South Africa show their enthusiastic support for the Truth About Drugs initiative.

Tribal leaders in Manshane, South Africa show their enthusiastic support for the Truth About Drugs initiative.

In helping to power the spread of a pan-African anti-drug movement, the Church of Scientology of Pretoria in South Africa generated new programs, activities and alliances this week as it drives toward the goal of achieving a Drug-Free Africa.

And there’s not a moment to spare.

In its most recent World Drug Report, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime noted increased drug use in West Africa – with trafficking in cocaine, crack and heroin on the rise since 2010 – and methamphetamine production likewise on the rise. A report in the Mail and Guardian Africa reveals that drug cartels have transformed Kenya into a money laundering hub.

Moreover, in May UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson declared, “From West Africa to Central Asia, we see how international drug trafficking jeopardizes peacebuilding efforts and bolsters terrorist groups.”

To help combat this continent-wide narcotics epidemic, the Church of Scientology sponsors the largest non-governmental anti-drug information and prevention campaign on Earth.

The Church of Scientology’s ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige directed that the Truth About Drugs campaign’s educational components be made available, free of charge, to all who request them. Thus, the Church offers the initiative’s educational materials (which neither contain nor advocate any Scientology beliefs) to like-minded anti-drug coalitions, government institutions, civic groups and schools.

Through this program, young people receive not only the facts they need to resist pro-drug propaganda, they are also empowered with a tool to personally help combat the drug scourge itself.

This past week, the Drug-Free Africa Coordinator, Director of Special Affairs Pretoria Maurithus Meiring, introduced tribal leaders in Limpopo Province to the Truth About Drugs materials and curriculum with a seminar at the tribal office in Manshane, South Africa.

At that group’s request, Meiring will return to train the leaders so they can deliver drug education lectures, which they see as the primary tool necessary to help put an end to the high rate of crime and unwanted pregnancies among young people—problems they see as stemming directly from rampant substance abuse.

A group that calls themselves the Drug Free World Youth Explosion gives back to the community with “by the youth for the youth” drug awareness programs in Johannesburg and surrounding communities.

In the Johannesburg suburb of Bosmont, when a volunteer recently entered a pharmacy dressed in her Drug-Free World T-shirt, the store owner told her he follows the Drug-Free World Africa Facebook page and loves the work the group is doing. He requested authorization for his staff to wear Drug-Free World T-shirts and distribute booklets, feeling it essential to alert his own customers to the dangers of prescription drug abuse. He was likewise inspired to play the Truth About Drugs public service announcement and documentary in his store.

A local restaurant in Bosmont also distributes Truth About Drugs booklets and plans to donate a portion of the money for every hamburger it sells to support the Drug-Free World Africa program.

But that’s not all. Two South African provinces are further arranging to include The Truth About Drugs in their high school curriculum, while the Drug-Free World team was invited to make a presentation at a career expo in Mamelodi in June and a national taxi company plans to dispense copies of the Truth About Drugs booklets with every ride.

With chapters throughout South Africa and in Zimbabwe, Congo, Kenya, Gambia and Burundi, and more sprouting all over the African continent, the Truth About Drugs campaign continues to make important educational inroads.

To learn more about the Truth About Drugs program, visit http://www.Scientology.org/how-we-help/truth-about-drugs.html

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