Welcome to Zambia
My name is Br Martin. I am a Capuchin Franciscan Student from Ireland and have just embarked on a four month mission experience in our Vice Province of Zambia. I will be keeping log of my progress and experiences on this blog over the next four months...you are most welcome to keep me company along the way
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
SHARPZ: At the cutting edge of drug & alcohol treatment
Click here for the Photos !!
The SHARPZ office is already a hive of activity as we arrive at 7.30am as the team get themselves ready for the day ahead. Sr Roda is off on another 5 Day Programme, Philip has clients for therapy all day, there is admin to be taken care of by Beth (a VSO Volunteer from Ireland) and new courses to be planned and designed.
SHARPZ is a harm reduction programme for people struggling with drug or alcohol addictions. The centre also offers family therapy and one to one counselling. It is unique in Zambia and it is indeed a forerunner and ground breaker. For ten years, Philip Baxter OFM Cap and his team have been helping the people of Zambia deal with addiction. Make no mistake, addiction is rife, especially alcohol addiction, and can be directly attributed to the rise and spread of communicable diseased like HIV, Hepatitis and STI's.
SHARPZ has a number of irons in the fire at this stage: it campaigns for sensible use of alcohol and raises awareness of the dangers associated with misuse; it runs community harm reduction and motivational interviewing programme (over 75 have been run all over Zambia, with an average of 25 community workers on each course), they provide counselling and detox services; research trends and drug use as well as keep an eye on what the Government is up to and they have been know to apply a little pressure when needed. They were recently mentioned in a speech by the Minister of Health as 'pioneers in the field'. The energy and passion that Philip and his team put into their work should be harnessed and piped into the nation grid...it is truly enlightening.
Currently the team, of which I am very proud to be a short term member, are designing programmes which will train and facilitate the empower groups called Community Alcohol Teams through-out Zambia or CATZ. SHARPZ is also rolling out Trauma Focused Cognitive Based Therapy Training (TF-CBT) Programmes in association with John Hopkins University in America.
As with all projects funding is hard to come by and currently SHARPZ are looking to raise funds to purchase 5 acres of land to build a residential detox centre, a badly needed addition to the web of support they provide...... so if you know anybody who would like to help, I am sure they would love to hear.
Check out and 'like' the SHARPZ Facebook page and a website is on the way very soon.... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Serenity-Harm-Reduction-Programme-Zambia-SHARPZ/237167263024020