Twenty-two teenage students of the Adab Islamic School at Nima in Accra have been launched on to the Smart Ghana Club to help prevent the use of drugs among their peers in the school and the community.
Smart Ghana, which is an affiliate of Smart International in collaboration with the Institute of Leadership and Development (INSLA), a non-governmental organisation.
The students pledged their allegiance to the Smart Ghana contract concept and undertook the following declaration.
That; “I will not use, touch and access tobacco or cigarette, alcohol or narcotics; I will not vandalize, destroy things that belong to others; I will not steal and shop-lift; I will not bully, fight, mistreat someone physically, mentally or insult; and I will not violate road safety signs and regulations.”
The contract would last for a year and it could be renewed if it becomes successful.
Smart Ghana has a concept to create awareness among young persons of the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other substance before they attain adulthood.
Mr Issa Ali, a leading member of the Smart Ghana advised the members of the club to be committed to the declaration by ensuring that they did not violate any of them throughout the year for them to receive rewards.
“Avoid having anything to do with alcohol, tobacco, violence, vandalism, stealing and insults, if you falter in any of these you will be kicked out of the club.
Mr Benjamin Anabila, the Director of INSLA in an address said the initiative it would be carried out across the country within the shortest possible time.
“The Smart International programme has received greater success in Sweden, Kenya, Uganda and many other countries and it is our hope that as we launch the Smart Ghana Club today at no other place than Adab school in the heart of Nima, it will succeed and expanded throughout the country,” he said.
Mr Anabila said early use of alcohol and tobacco were associated to future alcoholism and addiction and that the phenomenon threatened higher risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which caused organ damage and leads to death.
He said the four key risk factors to NCDs included alcohol, tobacco, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet and that it was on that bases the Smart Ghana contract concept for teenagers to pledge to stay away from anything that would has to do with alcohol, tobacco and other substances.
He called for stronger collaboration and support from all and sundry, especially government ministries, departments and agencies for a successful implementation of the programme to help prevent alcohol and tobacco use among the young ones because “a healthy people, is a healthy nation.”
Mr Umar Sanda Mohammed, the assembly member for Nima West expressed gratitude to the organizers for bringing the programme to the community where smoking ghettos and drinking bars were scattered all over the place.
He called on the opinion leaders of the area to support the initiative of the Smart Ghana and the INSLA to curb the tobacco smoking and alcohol intake menace, especially among the youth, to protect the image of the Moslem community.
Mr Hashim Abdulah Tonoi, the Headmaster of the Adab Islamic School expressed happiness for the inauguration of the club, which would help complement what they were already teaching the schoolchildren.
He asked the students to take the activities of the club serious and abide by the knowledge they would acquire.