ISHI HURU Drug Prevention Pilot

Rhino Resources supports ISHI HURU, or ‘Free Living’, because we believe that young people across Africa have the potential to shape their future and the future of the communities in which they live.

The ISHI HURU campaign focuses on drug prevention in schools and is catalyzing a Tanzanian national movement to establish a generation of healthy and productive youth. ISHI HURU uses a multidimensional approach to provide vulnerable youth with resources to understand their risks, role models and mentors for inspiration and support, and safe environments to explore professional and community development.

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RRCDF provided support to make the ISHI HURU pilot possible, which is implemented by Africa Inside Out in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania and the Tanzania Drug Commission in Kinondoni area of Dar es Salaam. Since January 2013 ISHI HURU has rolled out the following innovative strategies to keep urban youth away from drugs:

Mass media – Swahili media program in radio and print, specially developed to capture the attention of Tanzanian youth and inform them on the risks of drug use.

Outreach in Schools – interactive Swahili community dramas demonstrate the dangers of drug use and alternative, positive pathways for youth.

Drug prevention workshops – workshops follow interactive dramas in schools, where peer mentors equip pupils with information and resources to stand up to peer pressure to use drugs.

Mobile technology platform – novel SMS-based platform puts ISHI HURU in youth’s pockets. Provides youth with discreet, interactive support system, as well as informative SMS blasts and quotes from ISHI HURU ambassadors.

Celebrity inspiration – the Tanzania Football Federation and Tanzanian pop stars promote ISHI HURU, providing positive role models for youth.

The pilot has achieved impact on students’ knowledge of various drugs and illicit substances, understanding of risk factors leading to drug use and addiction, and negative impacts on health and life direction. Students completed the drug prevention program feeling confident they could refer a drug user to counseling and raise the subject to family and community members.