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, Calvin Smith introduced and is currently supporting a twelve-step narcotics addiction restoration programme that he has previously had experience of in the UK. In clear stages, it provides a framework to help addicts break their addiction. From this, the Kibera Saints Restoration Team and programme was born.
There are currently two mixed-gender groups running totalling 18 members and two young adults (Collins and Terry) have been “employed” 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.
Calvin Smith initially introduced the twelve step restoration programme as part of the Healthcare programme. He will enthusiastically tell you that Kibera his second home; initially travelling to Kibera just to "help out" he was amazed how quickly he got to love the place and the people. Calvin lives and works in Southampton.