Media practitioners and artistes under their forum, ‘Arts and Media for Change’ have stepped in to raise awareness against illicit drugs, one of the high impact crimes that continue to ravage the young generation in the country.
On Friday, at Kigali regional stadium, over 5000 students from various schools in Nyarugenge District joined the call against the vice under the theme: ‘Together in raising awareness against trafficking, sale and consumption of illicit drugs.”
Arts and Media for Change was established in November last year, with the aim of transforming and guiding the youth to the right direction with emphasis on fighting drug abuse and supporting vulnerable families.
It comes at the time when Rwanda National Police has raised the bar high in breaking the chain of supply through which about 440 drug-related cases involving close to 400 people who were arrested, majority traffickers, were arrested in the month of January alone.
Speaking to the youth, the vice mayor for the City of Kigali in charge of Social Affairs, Patricia Muhongerwa, reminded them that they hold the light for a better future, noting that engaging in abusing drugs can shatter that dream the country desires.
“The dignity of Rwandans streams in partnership at all levels against psychotropic substances, ensuring that every child goes to school and protected from any harm including drugs,” she said.
The vice mayor further appealed to them to desist from peer influence, instead report anyone that tries to lure them into such hazardous and criminal activities.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa, commissioner for community Policing in RNP, who commended journalists and artistes for the initiative, told the students that illicit drugs influence crimes, school drop-out and health complications.
“Such campaigns are meant to protect you from these dangers, minimize the government costs on arrested and convicted drug dealers and abusers and transform you into future leaders.”
He also echoed the message of “individual ownership” to fight the vice by reporting any one they suspect to be selling or consuming drugs, adding that “a good citizen is one who respects the law, fights crime and is an agent of change.”
It was also attended by the Regional Police Commander, ACP Rogers Rutikanga, the mayor of Nyarugenge and grassroots leaders among others.
Celestin Ntawuyirushamaboko, the coordinator of Arts and Media for Change, said that “before being a journalist or an artiste, you are a Rwandan, which binds you to ensure the best of your country.”