In a proactive move to address the rising concerns of drug abuse and gambling among secondary school boys, Kiitan Foundation launched a  campaign at Ido Osun High School, Ido-Osun, on November 22, 2023. The ‘Save the Boy Child’ initiative aimed to tackle the growing prevalence of substance abuse and gambling, shedding light on their detrimental effects on mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being.

This outreach was led by volunteer medical practitioner Olashore Eunice, the campaign sought to engage, educate, and empower male students on the harmful effects of falling into the trap of addiction and risky behaviors. Eunice, in a relatable and informative session, shared alarming statistics about adolescent drug abuse and the repercussions witnessed in hospitals.

The campaign was hinged on addressing the root causes of drug abuse among students. Ms. Eunice highlighted the role of curiosity, peer pressure, recreation, and the quest for creative inspiration or association in driving students toward substance abuse. She urged students to steer clear of groups promoting drug use for belonging and encouraged open communication with trusted adults if pressured into taking substances.

She further educated the students on recognizing signs of drug addiction,  which include but are not limited to the urge to use the drug every day or many times a day, absence from work or school, inability to overcome cravings despite awareness of the harm caused by the drug, feeling sick at every attempt to quit, stealing, lying, skin infections, lack of hygiene, severe malnutrition and a lot more. She emphasized the importance of seeking professional help rather than self-medicating based on others’ experiences.

Following this impactful session, another volunteer Janet took the reins, counseling students on the dangers of gambling. In an interactive dialogue, students, familiar with the term ‘game of luck,’ were guided through the potential pitfalls that gambling could pose to their academic and career development. She encouraged them to channel their time into learning practical skills and expanding their knowledge through reading. The students expressed gratitude for the enlightening program, recognizing its significance in increasing awareness about the dangers they might face, they pledged to continue spreading the message in their immediate circles.

The program concluded on a positive note with photographs commemorating the day, and the students and staff enjoyed refreshments. Kiitan Foundation’s ‘Save the Boy Child’ campaign successfully left a lasting impact, empowering young minds to make informed choices and fostering a community dedicated to breaking the cycle of drug abuse and gambling. This campaign is also a reminder to every parent, guardian, counselor, individual, and institution in a position of power and authority to channel as much attention given to the girl child to the boys as they too are major elements in shaping our society.  See photos below:

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