Liberia: Drug Rehabilitation Center Underway
GRAND BASSA – Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah on Saturday, June 1 initiated the partnership deal between the Liberian government and Oum El Nour Liberia (OENL), following a tour of the proposed site for the construction of the drug rehabilitation center in Grand Bassa County.
The official launching ceremony is expected to be conducted shortly by President George M. Weah in collaboration with other implementing agencies including the Ministries of Youth & Sports and Public Works.
Oum El Nour Liberia with office in Congo Town started April 2018, with two years initial funding by the World Lebanese Culture Union in Liberia. The proposed Drug rehabilitation center in Grand Bassa County, which is a joint initiative, will be constructed on 30 acres of land provided by the Liberian Government.
The center when completed, will rehabilitate and do drug detoxification, as well as collaborate with other agencies for re-integration into the society transformed people as well provide them with life training skill to help make them productive citizens.
Health Minister Dr. Jallah along with Grand Bassa County Representative Hans Barchue, the President and co-founder of Oum El Nour Liberia (OENL), Bishop Guy Paul Noujaim and other members of the OENL board toured the proposed site over the weekend in Grand Bassa County.
Minister Jallah thanked OENL for the laudable initiative and said the project is part of President Weah cherished program to help transform people addicted to drugs and provide them with useful training and skills.
Grand Bassa County Representative Hans Barchue also lauded the project by Lebanese in Liberia and pledged the county full support to its achievement.
OEN President and co-founder Bishop Noujaim expressed gratitude to President Weah and his government for the land space and reaffirmed his organization commitment to the realization of the program.
Bishop Noujaim said he was motivated by the timely and positive response of the President toward efforts aimed at transforming people on drugs and alcohol.
He said the program which has recorded great success in Lebanon and now in Liberia for the first time in Africa, is geared towards preventing, treating and rehabilitating people suffering from drug addiction and empowering them to make healthy choices devoid of drugs.
Since its establishment in April 2018, OENL has recruited and trained several social workers and specialized officers who have conducted and established ongoing drugs prevention outreach programs in several high schools.
A 2018 report by OENL said there are nearly 700 ghettos in Monrovia which it said serves as hubs for chronic drug users and are strongly associated with prostitution and crime, putting children at higher risk of being drug users.
Meanwhile, a special service was held Sunday at Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church where Bishop Noujaim offered special prayers for the nation and urged the people of God to show love and help alleviate the suffering of the people and those addicted to drugs.
The service was attended by an array of government officials including Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and officials and Executive members of the World Lebanese Culture Union.