The Drug Free World Fiji team has started its Drug Awareness Outreach at the Suva Market, Suva Bus Stand and surrounding areas, where they raised the issue of drug peddlers targeting young children at the Bus Stand and also concerns of drugs being sold at the Suva Market.
Drug Free World Fiji says after receiving feedback from the schools they visited recently in Suva in June and concerns raised by people that came to see them at Fiji Showcase 2023, it was evident that drug peddlers were targeting young children at the Suva Bus Stand and drugs is being sold at the Suva Market.
It says they had called the Fiji Police Force, where they explained what they were planning to do which is a Drug Awareness Outreach.
The organisation says they had a few students coming to them and wanting to talanoa about what they are seeing in their schools and communities - these were young children (class 3 to class 6), while other young children were bringing their peers to listen and ask for more information.
They say they had a couple of requests from some of the children asking for boxes of booklets to be dropped off at their primary schools so they can share the factual information with others at school.
Their planned time was to deliver more than 3,100 Truth About Drugs booklets from 2pm to 4pm but in the end these booklets were gone in just one hour.
They acknowledge the support from the Police Commander Central Superintendent of Police (SP) Farasiko Matawalu, who gave them the authorisation to conduct the distribution of the booklets at the site and surrounding areas.
Drug Free World Fiji is looking forward to conducting outreach programs at the same location in the coming weeks and it is also a chance for everyone to go and see them for a talanoa.
1 in 3 young people seen loitering in the streets are highly likely to be users of methamphetamine or even heroin, and most of these people using the hard drugs are using syringes and needles to inject these highly addictive illicit substances into their bodies.
Shocking revelations have been made by Drug Free World Fiji Founder, Kalesi Volatabu while appearing on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan where she also spoke about a 11-year-old boy who is now living on the streets in Suva after coming from the maritime islands for education.
Volatabu says this young boy is shooting meth into his body daily, and although he cannot afford it, he is being used by the drug dealers, to get other young people to buy the hard drugs, and he then gets his shot as a payment.
The 11-year-old is even selling his body for sex, just to get his next meth hit.
Urgent action is needed as more information continues to be revealed on the reality on the ground.
Volatabu says when she came in 2018, she was asked by the former Defence Minister, Inia Seruiratu, to assist in drug awareness, but she said many things were hidden including the data on what is the situation.
Volatabu also says based on their surveys, most of the hard drug users are intravenous users, and most of them are sharing needles.
You can watch the full Straight Talk interview on our website, fijivillage.
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