One of the challenges in Kibera, is that of drug addiction, especially among young people. This is a problem all too clear to the Kibera Saints football club which through football is aiming to address some of the social problems within the Kibera slum community.
In 2018 one of our UK volunteers introduced a twelve-step narcotics addiction restoration programme that he had previously experienced in the UK. In clear stages, it provides a framework to help addicts break their addiction. From this, the Kenya Saints Restoration Team and programme was born.
There are currently two mixed-gender groups running totalling 18 members and three local young adults (Collins, Terry and Diana) are receiving some financial support to help run the initiative. It is anticipated that some who have successfully completed the programme will lead future groups, enabling them to pass on their first-hand experience.
Especially during the pandemic lockdown, team officials were volunteering their time and energy to help individuals break their addictions. Early reports are encouraging and Mark Tizodi writes "Since we began some have gone days, weeks and others a whole month without taking drugs or involvement in other crimes. Others are slowly learning to tame them."
More recently, the Restoration Team have been invited into local schools to run the twelve-step programme and to teach classes on drugs and substance abuse awareness. The demand for their services is greater than the resources they're currently able to provide.