Members of Huvadhoo Aid spent two days visiting a number of NGO’s within the South Huvadhoo Atoll to explore the areas of drug prevention within their islands. The representatives of Huvadhoo Aid travelled to Nadella, Fiyory and Fares Maathoda meeting with NGO members and leaders to learn more about their experience of these issues. The visits included one to one meetings and focus groups with NGO members/leaders as well as workshops in Nadella and Fares Maathoda. The aim of the research was to assess the issue as it currently stands within these islands and the ways in which the NGO’s can work to target and combat the problems surrounding drug use.
The NGO meetings and focus groups in all three islands highlighted that problems with drugs and drug dealings exist within each of the communities and is considered to be a big problem. The suggested reasons for the drug use were lack of parental responsibility or control of their children, teenagers wanting to join in the drugs ‘fashion’, peer pressure, the increasing availability of drugs on local islands, lack of job opportunities for young people, poor education and the lack of policing which in turn allows drug dealers to deal on the island. At present the NGO’s are not able to successfully tackle the problems of drug use within the islands for a number of reasons such as limited knowledge and resources, lack of support from the community and other NGO’s and a difficulty in engaging the drug users in awareness programmes.
Alongside the meetings and focus groups, workshops were carried out with local members of the NGO’s in Nadella and Fares Maathoda. The workshops held looked specifically at Drug use and prevention within the individual islands, these workshops gave the opportunity for volunteers to work together to create their own action plans for work that could be done within their community. Within this they looked at the initial reasons behind drug use, created an objective for their action plan and explored the strengths and challenges of their programme, the ideas developed will be used within the Drug Networking Programme and plan currently being developed by Huvadhoo Aid with the help from international volunteer from United Kingdom.