We all know someone who has been harmed by drug and alcohol abuse. It is a problem in every community around the globe. The Chestertown Rotary Club recently had Melissa Davis Stuebing of CoLaborers International speak about our club’s 2022-2023 district grant project providing “Community and school-based interventions to substance-using students in Zambia”.
This project is training Zambian teachers, guidance counselors, and those facilitating afterschool clubs in a scientifically valid, culturally appropriate counseling curriculum for school-aged children and youth struggling with the lure of drug and alcohol addiction.
The US version of this curriculum, Literacy-Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy, is endorsed by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists and is in use in locations across America, including at our own A.F. Whitsitt Center. The Zambian version of this curriculum is endorsed by its own Ministry of Health and was a part of a 2018 Rotary grant – training Zambian nonprofits, community orgs, and even the country’s mental health hospital to make drug and alcohol counseling more accessible. A scientific study on this is here https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2022.100424
Our current project is focused on expanding accessibility of drug and alcohol helps to students in schools through providing training in this curriculum. It explores and applies Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy through Zambian cultural art activities – including drumming, dancing, singing, gourd art, horticultural arts, painting, games, storytelling, drama, and more.
School-based interventions are recommended by the World Health Organization (Robles & Bronstein, 2020; WHO, 2018) and are similarly used elsewhere in Africa (Huang et al., 2014). We believe empowering local teachers, guidance counselors and those running after school programs through training in this curriculum will better help students to have resources to overcome addiction.
If you are interested in joining our club or being a part of this effort, please come to a meeting. We are currenting meeting the first and third Tuesday at noon at “Chester River Yacht & Country Club.”