Senyonyi calls for rehabilitation centre


Dr Ruth Senyonyi has appealed to the Province of the Church of Uganda to consider instituting a rehabilitation centre at Uganda Christian University (UCU) for victims of drugs, alcohol and other substances.

Senyonyi, who is a counsellor at the Bank of Uganda, was speaking during the drugs, alcohol and other substance abuse night organised by the Drug Free Club (DFC) on July 8, in Nkoyoyo Hall.

The DFC is a student-led club whose aim is to promote a drug-free lifestyle within the UCU community by reducing demand for drugs through creating awareness and sensitizing the community to be part of the club.

While addressing the audience, Ruth, a wife to the UCU Vice Chancellor Dr John Senyonyi, lauded the Counselling Department for the initiative to fight drugs, alcohol and other substance abuse.

“This is something that is scarce in our country,” Senyonyi said.

“I hope we shall have a rehabilitation centre here, something of our own. I am going to add a lot of prayers to this. I will be very willing to help,” she added.

Ezra Tumuhirwe, the coordinator of the Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substance Abuse section in the counselling department, told The Standard that as a former addict, he initiated the programme to turn his experience into an opportunity that can make a difference in the lives of many.

“Out there, some adverts claim it is cool to use drugs and alcohol thus misleading the youth. Our approach is different. We shall encourage all the users to drop the habit,” he said, adding that the programme will also fight stigma and help the addicts accordingly.

Tumuhirwe revealed that the programme is running in partnership with Global Outreach for Addiction Leaders and Learning (GOAL), a US-based organisation which has projects in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

GOAL’s mission is to educate, train, and empower community leaders in addressing the challenges of addiction and recovery.

David Whites, the coordinator for GOAL health projects in East Africa, said that the organization started partnering with UCU in 2015 and will be at the institution for three years, supporting capacity building.

“We are working to raise funds to make it longer to ensure that the partnership with UCU continues,” Whites said.