Liberia: Three Former ‘Zogos’ Complete Rehabilitation; Become Productive Citizens
Monrovia – Three young men who had undergone rehabilitation have gotten a new lease of life after they graduated from the New Life Recovery Center, a faith-based rehabilitation center in Sundaygar Town, Margibi County.
Jefferson Knight, director of the center, said he was inspired to open a rehabilitation center in Liberia in 2008 after his two brothers had died from drugs addiction.
“My brothers, who were forced into Charles Taylor’s Small Boys Unit (SBU) and were addicted to drugs, turned to robbers and were killed by angry mob when they went steal,” he said.
The center, Knight said, has been catering to the rehabilitation of male and female drug addicts from across the country and from abroad.
Its services, he said, involves rehabilitation of different stages of drug and substance abuse that can be summarized in three levels: Preventive Care, Rehabilitation and After Care.
Those who graduated were Joshua B. Milton, Morais M. Horatio and Gwee C. F. Maxwell Jr and they are from a total number of 16 persons who are undergoing rehabilitation at the facility.
Milton, Horatio and Maxwell add to the list of 104 persons who had undergone rehabilitation since 2008.
Ten persons were first recruited from West Point to undergo rehabilitation but later got prey to relapse after three months into rehabilitation, according to Knight.
Knight said the organization decided to change their location, which eventually led to the establishment of three additional rehabilitation centers, which were funded by the group’s partner church based in Kansas City, that helped completed their recoveries.
“I receive tons of calls from both home and abroad, and all calls are single mothers crying for their children who have gotten addicted to drugs,” he said.
Serving as guest speaker, Mrs. Esther F. Grant, urged youths across the country to always engage in meaningful ventures that would add values to their lives, warning that drugs and crimes were destructive.
Speaking on the theme from Darkness to Light, Grant said idleness among youths posed a serious challenge to the security and development of the society.
“When you are in darkness you have no control of yourself, when you are in darkness, there is no taking bath, and there is no respect from family members, friends or the community. When you are in darkness, there is no vision because he that is down fears no foe. There is no way to say no to drugs, but when light comes, all things are possible,” said Mrs. Grant
She admonished the youth to keep in the light and warned parents not to tempt the graduates with money and valuables, because, according to her, they have just been cleaned.
“Parents, please do not feel that because your kids graduated from this program, so you should just put money anywhere near them, before they go back to the relapse stage of returning to drugs. Work with them in finding good programs they can enroll in,” she said.
Oliver Pratt, who was cleaned at one of the first centers before the completion of the recovery center, is now the coordinator for the center, while one Sonpon, who was cleaned of drugs at the New Life Recovery Center, has bought himself a motorbike.
In his testimony, Sonpon said Knight was influential in releasing him from jail and later took him to the rehabilitation center.
“While in prison, I promised God when I’m released, I was going to do something useful with my life. And one lucky day, I got billed out by Knight who took to the rehabilitation center where I remained and got cleaned of drugs,” he said.
“I’m now a proud bike owner,” he said.
The program was graced by relatives and family members of the three graduates who lauded Knight and the organization for their intervention in their children’s lives.