Talking about drugs 5 years ago would be behind closed doors - Volatabu

Talking about drugs 5 years ago would be behind closed doors - Volatabu

By Alipate Narawa
Sunday 19/05/2024
Drug Free World Fiji Founder, Kalesi Volatabu

Five years ago we could not have this kind of setting, it was behind closed doors, we would not talk about drugs in the church, Vanua, lomani-koro or at home.

Drug Free World Fiji Founder, Kalesi Volatabu highlighted this at the Responding To Illicit Drugs National Talanoa Session at the FNU Campus in Nasinu.

Volatabu says when they came to Fiji in 2019 they did not know or understand what the landscape regarding drugs was at that time.

She says it has been a huge fight all the way through adding this is not just about Drug Free World, but all their partners as well present in the discussions.

She says that is what collaboration and partnership is all about, because they want to fight and how do they move forward from a talk fest to actually seeing what it is like on the ground.

She says we need to look at prevention not just on the law enforcement side but the other social elements and social issues as well like raising awareness not just at the schools but also the human element of it.

Volatabu says there is someone attached to it whether it be a family, school, villagers and at the same time how to empower those communities, young people, teachers, and parents.

Volatabu says those are some areas that need to be looked at because it is not just about locking them up with mandatory sentencing as it does not work.

She says the other one is empowering communities on how to train the village headmen, clan leaders, women’s organisations, and church groups to contextualize it to Fiji.

Volatabu says there needs to be evidence provided for policy making.

Click here for more stories from the Talanoa Session on Illicit Drugs and Substance Use Disorders in Fiji

Click here for stories on the Drugs Situation in Fiji

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