The Walk To Freedom
The Walk to Freedom campaign seeks to give hope, faith and love to those enslaved by alcohol and other drugs, through education, as well as manage and support addicted persons return into mainstream society.
By effectively implementing the above-mentioned will lead to creating a drug-free society that will enable all people to realize their God given talents, potential and purpose in life and contribute meaningfully towards the development of Ghana.
This campaign is carried out by LOAD, a non-governmental organization founded by a recovering alcoholic, Abaa Roger Atambire, who was once gripped by the twin evils of drugs and alcohol but has gone through rehabilitation.
We have organized and spoke on the effects of alcoholism and drug abuse in seventeen Senior High Schools and four Nursing Training Colleges, all supported by Basic Needs -Ghana.We also educated the public on the same subject on local and national radio programmes.
- To create awareness and expose the hidden dangers associated with alcoholism and illicit drug abuse.
- To develop our lives, our communities, our identities without drugs.
- To reduce or eliminate the stigma associated with mental health.
- To encourage mentally-ill people to seek professional assistance.
- To assist mentally-ill people during treatment.
- To establish an alcohol/ drug support home or centers to assist in recovery.
- To assist children of alcohol/drug addicts in schools.
- To create awareness on reproductive health.
- To form and grow alcohol and drug addict clubs in various schools and communities, known as LOAD Ghana - clubs.
- To assist youth to discover their God given talents.
- To reduce the spread of disease.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
We have achieved these objectives by carrying out radio programs on the effects of alcoholism and drug abuse both local and national. We also carried out alcohol and drug abuse educational programs in schools in the Upper East Region of Ghana, exposing the lies perpetuating abuse.
We were additionally featured on several TV programmes such as Metro TV, GTV, Adom TV and Crystal TV on the issue of alcoholism in the country. An outreach program on crisis management entails presentations being carried out in several churches, exposing and teaching on how to support an alcoholic and drug addict to move out of their situation.
The organization, and the campaign itself, is the brain child of a recovering alcoholic hence LOAD Ghana uses personal experience and testimonies to educate the general public and the ignorant and gullible youth. We also work with the media and keep fit clubs to create platforms for our activities and presentations. We organised some of our programs to coincide with national and international days such the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
We have been recognized by the Upper East Regional Health Service and the Education Service for our activities and the impact of those activities in various schools within the region.
Our Executive Director has been appointed as a member of the Upper East Region subcommittee of the Mental Health Authority.We have also supported and rehabilitated many alcoholics and drug addicts back into mainstream society livelihood.
The biggest challenges of LOAD Ghana are as follows:
1. Inadequate funds to effectively extend and implement our programs into other communities.
2. Inadequate logistics for our programs.
3. A shortage of capacity building of our employees.
4. Lack of resources or funds to support recovering alcoholics and addicts who want to learn a skill or trade or go back to school.
We have learnt that the majority of the people, especially the youth, are ignorant about the content and effects associated with alcoholism and drug abuse.
Many communities linking alcoholism to spirituality and witchcraft. Also, many people do not also believe that alcoholism and drug addiction can be treated or managed.