Monday, 23 March 2009

Cambodia: first Christian addiction assessment centre opens

Cambodia: first Christian addiction assessment centre opens

Inspire Magazine

As the risk of addiction fuelled Aids grows in Cambodia, Hosea Ministries and the Christian Response to Addictions in Cambodia (CRAC) project opened Hosea House on 20

February in Phnom Penh.

This first, inclusive, drug assessment centre to be opened in the country aims to reach out to both street kids and the growing numbers of rootless middle-class children caught in the drug trap.

Hosea House is working with children and families where drug or solvent abuse is a problem, including some of Cambodia’s estimated 20,000 street children. The children are contacted by outreach workers or simply turn up at the centre. They are then assessed as to the seriousness of their own, or their parent’s, drug or alcohol abuse and help options discussed.

A nurse is on hand to help any who are sick or malnourished and a full programme of rehabilitation activities and learning options are available. These are combined to help them rebuild their lives and embrace positive change.

The opening ceremony was attended by local community leaders, the Government’s Drugs Advisor and representatives of NGOs, missions, and city churches. The final cutting of the ribbon was performed by Patrick Prosser, Executive Director of Life For The World Trust (LFTW) who initiated the CRAC project in 2006.

Patrick commented: “As young people in Cambodia try to come to terms with their nation’s traumatic past, the poverty of many and divided broken families, they see drugs and glue as solutions to their problems. Sadly, drugs multiply their problems but now there is a programme which offers real hope that change and a new start in life are possible”.

The CRAC project, (a partner project of LFTW in the UK), has already trained more than 250 students on their Drug Foundation Course, including several pastors. Working under the umbrella of Hosea Ministries in Cambodia, in the future CRAC hopes to provide much needed ‘hands on’ drug training, using Hosea House as both a base and a model for good practice.

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