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Drugs Awareness Campaign Inspires Over 720 Students

The Deputy Minister-designate for Children and Social Protection at the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Garmai Tokpah, has led a massive drugs awareness campaign across Montserrado and nearby counties to educate citizens on the danger of the use of illicit drugs.
Over the weekend, Garmai Tokpah spearheaded an interactive and comprehensive one-day drugs awareness program at the Confidence School System in the Fendell Community, Montserrado County, where she addressed over 700 students to join President Boakai in the fight against drug abuse.
Tokpah passionately cautioned the students, most of whom were between 10-17 years, to be determined and stop hanging out with bad friends who have involved themselves in negative peer pressure activities.
She warned the students against what she termed as the “Dark Side of Realities,” citing the harmful effects of substances such as marijuana, cocaine, Kush, as well as crack.
With vivid examples, the Liberian Social Scientist provided a clear understanding of the consequences of each substance, aiming to empower the students with knowledge to make informed choices.
She used the occasion to call on parents to continue to follow their children’s activities, including the friends they associate with and where they go and play, urging them to be vigilant guardians and actively involved in the daily lives of their children.
Tokpah however encouraged school authorities do routine checks of students’ pockets, backpacks, and shoes, disclosing that parents-teachers diligence is essential in preventing the detrimental consequences of illicit substances used by the kids.
She shared some personal anecdotes that underscore the importance of strong parental involvement as a protective shield against the pervasive drug nightmare, and attributed the high rate of high school dropout students across Liberia to the use of acholic substances and drugs taken by some students in grade schools.
“Our students are taking in drugs and alcoholic substances, that is why the number of school dropouts continues to increase. This is a serious matter and it is everybody’s business. Thank God that President Joseph Boakai has declared drugs as a national health emergency in Liberia,” Madam Tokpah revealed.
Madam Tokpah’s impassioned plea extended beyond the school walls, calling for a unified front against the drug nightmare and urged collaboration among the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Justice, Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, and other institutions.
Recognizing the multifaceted nature of the challenge, she emphasized the need for a collective, cross-sectoral approach to tackle the deep-rooted issue that has negatively impacted countless young lives.
Meanwhile, the Liberian psycho-social counseling expert also acknowledged Liberia’s newly elected President, Joseph Boakai’s unwavering support in advocating for initiatives that address the pressing societal issues affecting Liberia’s youth.
As a psycho-social counseling expert, Tokpah has consistently advocated for a collective effort in the fight against illicit drugs.
Last year, she ardently called for a swift investigation into the proliferation of illicit substances, leading to the seizure of a staggering US$100 million worth of cocaine in Topoe Village.
This incident served as a catalyst for her ongoing commitment to raising awareness and driving change in the battle against drug trafficking and abuse.
Addressing teachers, parents, and law enforcement officers, Tokpah admonished them to join forces in the battle against illicit drugs.
She specifically urged parents to be proactive “police” for their children and actively engage in their day-to-day activities to prevent the dire consequences of street upbringing.
Tokpah’s heartfelt plea resonated with parents, prompting a collective commitment to fostering a safe and drug-free environment for Liberia’s next generation.
Recently, delivering his State of the Nation Address, President Joseph Boakai declared the drug issue as a national health emergency, announcing comprehensive testing initiatives for citizens, starting with himself and his Vice president, Jeremiah Koung.
In the aftermath of the impactful awareness program, several students expressed heartfelt thanks to Tokpah for her initiative, acknowledging the potential life-changing impact it has on the youth of Liberia.

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