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Vice  and JunKieS



By Hannah Brooks

Back when we were in Indonesia hanging out with the Warias, we stopped over in Jakarta to meet a group of female recovering drug addicts who make shoes called Junkies. Ex-Junkies making Junkies!

Before meeting the ladies, we dropped by a men's rehabilitation centre called Yakita, about 60 km outside Jakarta in an area called Bogor. Here we met a couple called David and Joyce who run both the rehab and the local drop in centre that is home to Junkies shoes. 

At the rehab we sat in on the guys' morning meeting, saw lots of scary-amazing drawings of syringes, and waved hello to two men detoxing inside a locked room while our taxi driver took a quick snooze inside the rehab’s mosque. After that we were taken down the road to the Junkies headquarters.

We spent the day with the ladies, who are all addicts or partners of addicts, playing with pretty batik fabric, smoking a squillion ciggies and finding out that by Indonesian standards I have exceptionally large feet.

We may have been there in the name of fashion but it was a...um... sobering experience. We came away from there feeling pretty lucky to not be a junkie in Indonesia, which, from the girls’ stories, is not fucking easy.

 Watch the whole video story now on BEHIND THE SEAMS - JUNKIE SHOES




Drug rehabilitation centers under pressure

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Last chance saloon: Yakita Foundation is one rehabilitation center for drug users. Courtesy of Yakita FoundationLast chance saloon: Yakita Foundation is one rehabilitation center for drug users. Courtesy of Yakita Foundation

During her bleak past – seven hard years as a drug addict – Dania (not her real name) tried all kinds of drugs. She also tried all types of rehabilitation centers.

“The one place I haven’t been to is prison,” said the 35-year-old, who confessed to having her well-off family bail her out to escape the authorities when she was arrested back in 2005.

“There was some agreement and my parents told the officer that they would send me to rehab instead.”

Now, addicts like Dania no longer have to make any such “agreement”, as the Supreme Court has advised judges to send convicted drug users to rehabilitation centers instead of prisons.

In its memo, the Supreme Court proposed rehabilitation centers that could be appointed to help drug addicts, including the National Narcotics Agency’s centers across the country, drug addiction hospitals, the Social Affairs Ministry’s rehabilitation centers, psychiatric hospitals and private hospitals or rehabilitation centers.

The widespread and apparently uncontrolled use of drugs inside prisons and the rising number of people imprisoned for drug-related crimes have been given as the reasons behind the policy.

Currently, around 60 percent of those in Indonesian prisons, or about 40,000 inmates, are drug users.

The policy has been welcomed by those working in the drug area, such as Joyce Gordon from Yakita, a foundation that operates rehab centers in several provinces. .

“It is a step forward in separating drug users from dealers,” Joyce said of the policy. “The first are people who need treatment, while the latter are criminals.”

But – and there is always a but – there is still a lot of work to be done. It isn’t simply a matter of sending drug addicts to appointed centers, if those centers are not ready to take them.

The question of how they will handle a sharp increase in the patients gets even trickier given their funding is almost non-existent.

And then there is the matter of the standard of care.

“The quality and approach taken by rehab centers vary and there are no standards or indicators to measure the success of the treatment,” Joyce pointed out.

When talking about these centers, it is certainly difficult to classify them according to their approach, let alone start to define the success of any one approach. When it comes to working with drug abusers, quality depends on more than fancy buildings or modern infrastructure.

And that “quality” a recovering drug addict needs is intangible.

“All the rehabs that I’ve been in have fed me well. But the last one really got to me. Or is it because I’m growing older?” Dania said.

The last one that is working for her, she added, places the emphasis on rebuilding her self-esteem, which was wrecked from five years of unemployment.

“Some friends I met at the first one, a pesantren [Islamic boarding school], have never relapsed. But I guess that depends on your personality.”

Some centers choose a religious approach and completely ban any kind of methadone treatment, and others combine detoxification with group counseling. Only a very few provide a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

The Drug Rehabilitation Unit in Pondok Pinang, South Jakarta, is one that claims to combine supervised methadone therapy with a re-entry program for its in- and outpatients.

“We provide counselors and doctors here. And we have daily sessions for inpatients,” said Muhammad Iqbal, a former drug user who works as a counselor at the center, which can accommodate up to 50 people.

Aside from the two-hour sessions in the morning and late afternoon, inpatients at the unit find ways to kill time, whether watching TV, listening to the radio, playing the guitar or just lying around on their beds.

Kedhaton Parahita in Sentul, Bogor, managed by Father Lambertus Somar, adopts a therapeutic community approach involving psychiatrists, psychologists and patients’ family members.

One of the oldest rehabilitation approaches draws on religious values and rituals to help addicts.

Recovering addicts staying at the Suryalaya Islamic boarding school in West Java are directed to shift their focus to religious activities while being isolated from the outside world.

The religious center that Dania stayed in for two months was of a similar kind.

“They wake you up before dawn, bathe with cold water in cold weather and ask you to pray and recite the Koran all day,” Dania recalled. At places like that, she said, a junkie has no choice but to “enjoy” cravings, as no kinds of legal drugs are allowed.

Another center in South Jakarta’s Karang Tengah, the Fan Campus, offers a blend of detoxification as the first step, with a flexible re-entry program, in which patients can spend most of their time outside the center.

“What defines the success of the centers is how well one’s life can be restored,” said Temi, a counselor.

And who determines that?

“We should have a standardized indicator of what defines a good rehab center, especially if we want this program to support the fight against drug abuse,” Joyce of Yakita said.

While sending drug users to prison cannot help, sending them to rehab centers could be promising – if the quality is assured, that is.

Currently, the only standard for rehabilitation centers, issued by the Health Ministry in 2002, only vaguely defines a “good” center. It stipulates that a center should feed its patients three times a day and provide health and recreational services as well as physical, mental and social guidance.

It also stipulates the need for a reintegration program and aftercare, without providing details or evaluative indicators.

Setting quality aside, there is still much to be done in the logistics of implementing the policy.

“Most of the centers are located in Java,” Joyce pointed out. “What will happen to a convicted drug user in Sorong?”

It will be a question of who will be sent where and whether some jurisdictions have the required centers to take in convicted drug users.

According to compiled data from the Health Ministry and the Social Affairs Ministry, there are only 22 accredited private rehab centers and two religious ones with several branches, most of which are located in Java. On top of that, there are more than 70 hospitals and psychiatric hospitals in provinces across the country.

But even government-owned clinics seem to be ill-prepared to welcome convicted drug users, and cost is a big part of it, according to Juenas Sitepu from the Social Affairs Ministry.

“It’s expensive to cover the cost of treatment for drug users, such as medication and doctor’s fees,” Juenas said. “We have not allocated much for treatment in this year’s state budget.”

It is indeed expensive to care for recovering drug addicts. The monthly operating cost per head for an established medium to large center ranges from Rp 2 million to Rp 4 million.

“If we do take in convicted drug addicts, we have to rely on funding from international donors. We can sometimes cross-subsidize, but that depends on our own financial condition,” said Joyce, who started working with penitentiaries long before the new policy was officially endorsed by the government.

Meanwhile, small centers like Fan Campus said that they were not ready to take in those sent by judges into their care.

“We are too small to be able to cross-subsidize them,” said Temi, which leaves the question of how drug users will get the help they need to prevent them ending up back in prison.


Drug Users in  Papua:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mid-2009, Drug Users are High Enough

Written By RWN
From Police Commission Website

Sentani- Head of the Education Division for Prisoners and Inmates at the Correctional Institution in Sentani, Class II A Sentani Narcotics Prison, Kartika Jaya, SH, said that during the last 2 years there is an increase of drug use, seen from the increase of inmates who come into Sentani Narcotics Prison.

Data shows that for 2008, 46 people who come into Sentani Narcotics Prison in the mid-2009 rose to 86 people (details below in table). "So there is an almost  100 percent rise," he said. According to him, most are new people, while recidivist only count to about 1 to 2 people only.

In this case of course it can be said that narcotics has increased in distribution in the communities, and this is a matter to be concerned about, especially since the victims are from the younger generation .

He added, in guiding the prison inmates, they try to develop inmates the best they can, either spiritually as well as develop their productive skills. So when inmates are released, they would have a way to earn a living.

In addition to drug recovery, and addressing health issues and HIV / AIDS, Sentani Narcotics Prison works with Yayasan Harapan Permata Hati Kita (Yakita) Papua, which has helped provide guidance for inmates.

"Drug users do not change in an instant, recovery is a long process that takes time, hence it is important to work with their mental and spiritual recovery. We also do vocation skills trainings, such as making furnitures. We are also preparing their skills in agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery," he said.

Just to note that for the next 6 days, Yakita Foundation in Papua is implementing a training for prison staff and inmates in Sentani Narcotics prisons Class II A Sentani. (Nls)

Table Users in Handle Narcotics Narcotics Prison Class II A Sentani Year 2008 and 2009
No Year Month Psychotropic Drug dealers User Jlh

January1 2008 40 13 53 18 35
2 - February 34 12 46 18 28
3 - March 31 12 43 16 27
4 - April 40 15 55 28 27
5 - May 38 9 47 21 26
6 - June The number remains the same as in May
7 - July 36 5 41 19 22
8 - August 41 4 45 21 24
9 - September 42 4 46 19 27
10 - October 40 4 44 18 26
11 - November 38 4 42 15 27
12 - December 33 4 37 8 35
No Year Month Psychotropic Drug dealers User Jlh
1 2009 January 48 3 51 20 27
2 - February 47 12 59 13 46
3 - March 51 22 73 24 49
4 - April 45 27 72 26 46
5 - May 51 23 74 23 51
Data: Class II Narcotics Penitentiary A Sentani



Need for more Realistic, Compassionate Public Education

Jane Raniati ,  Contributor ,  Gianyar, Bali   |  Sun, 02/24/2008 2:12 PM  |  Discover


According to Octavery "Very" Kamil, head of the Injecting Drug Users Intervention Unit at Aksi Stop AIDS! (ASA) of Family Health International-Jakarta, a major challenge in the battle against the negative health and societal problems of drug abuse is the heavy stigma placed on users of any kind of illegal drug -- when in fact there are many different kinds of drugs, some of which are more likely to lead to addiction and other problems.

The National Police campaign, which uses slogans implying that any use of any kind of drug will ruin one's life, is neither accurate nor effective, according to Very.

For example, Very relates an interview with an injecting drug user (IDU): "In 2000, (the user) had already seen ads and posters about (the National Police campaign). But he had already tried ganja (marijuana) and ecstasy by then and felt no addiction or problem, so he didn't believe the message. So then he tried heroin, and eventually became an addict."

The issue of drug abuse thus concerns both the availability of the drugs and the dissemination of incomplete or inaccurate public education messages.

Asked for a better, alternative message, Very replied: "What is addiction? It doesn't happen in a moment. It's a process."

More realistic information is the key -- and people need to know about the different types of drugs available.

Heroin and shabu-shabu (methamphetamine), Very says, were more likely to leave one with withdrawal symptoms, and thus more likely to lead to addiction and associated problems. This includes HIV infection, due to the tendency to use these drugs by injection to get a faster and more cost-efficient hit.

Very suggested that more efficient approaches might include "life skills education" programs at schools or in youth groups that teach young people skills for making better decisions in life.

Overall, he says, drug prevention programs (the demand reduction side of the equation) in Indonesia are generally still weak. While some very good programs exist, including those implemented by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) and Yayasan Kita (YAKITA), their reach is not yet broad enough.

"Drug education for students and young people is important," he said, "but it must be non- stigmatizing, and it must not ignore the fact that many high school students have already used drugs."

A 2002 behavioral survey among high school students in Jakarta, implemented by the Health Ministry with technical and financial support from the ASA, reported that 34.2 percent of boys and 6.3 percent of girls had never used any drugs, while 2.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, reported use by injecting.

Surprisingly, alcohol use was lower, at 29.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Very is emphatic that, despite campaign messages implying that anyone who tries drugs has ruined their life, "We must not give up on those people". Information must be given to young people about what to do if a friend or sibling is using and needs help.

He added that while in the United States, the old "Just Say No!" approach to drug education had been replaced by a more moderate "Safety First" approach, Indonesia's approach was still largely modeled on "Just Say No!".

Determining the success rate of supply reduction and demand reduction efforts here is difficult, since various indicators can be used to judge this. According to Very, however, these efforts are still very minimal.

"The fact is, drugs are still a big problem in Indonesia. Actually, internationally this is also the case," he said. "As yet, there has been no mainstream global policy on drugs that has demonstrated success."

It thus seems clear that harm reduction is an important and necessary component of efforts to tackle both the problem of drug abuse and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

More information and help

  • Family Health International (FHI) www.fhi.org
  • National Narcotics Agency (Badan Narkotika Nasional) www.bnn.go.id
  • Komunitas AIDS Indonesia www.aids-ina.org
  • Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) www.ycab.org Hotline: 0-800-1-NO-DRUG (663784)
  • Yayasan Harapan Permata Hati Kita (Yakita) www.yakita.or.id Hotlines: Jabodetabek (0251) 8243069, 8243077; Aceh (0651) 23213; Bali (0361) 257 224;  Bogor (women's center) (0251) 8244375; Kupang (0380) 821425; Makassar (0411) 873658; Surabaya (031) 5039228, Jayapura (0967) 537 565




By John Budd, UNICEF


David Gordon spins a marker pen on the floor in front of a group of 22 young Indonesians and asks the person the marker points to: “What’s the best way to get HIV messages to most young people in Indonesia”.The adolescents respond almost as one: “Music”. 

It is day 20 of a month-long course for HIV peer group educators in the West Java city of Bogor, about an hour south of Jakarta. The UNICEF sponsored course trains the young people on counseling skills for HIV/AIDS and drug abuse and use.

David Gordon and his wife Joyce run one of the few drug and rehabilitation centers in Indonesia. It’s called Yayasan Harapan Permata Hati Kita – ‘Our Children’s Hope’ - a mouthful even in Indonesian. So it’s known to most people as YAKITA, an Indonesian play on words meaning “Yes, Us!”.

UNICEF and YAKITA are partners in an ambitious pilot program to train young people from the greater Jakarta area, and 3 other provinces, Bandung, Makassar, and Bali. The project is the brain child of UNICEF’s Fighting AIDS project officer, Rachel Odede.

“I’ve done something like this in Eritrea and Kenya, and I shared this with David and Joyce who then developed it further,” Odede says. ‘We’ve got much to do. Greater Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital & commercial center is home to some 20 million people.’

“The training program is cutting edge anywhere in the world,” Gordon adds, “And we’d like to expand the program, fast! If we don’t, we won’t make inroads into the epidemic in Indonesia.”

It’s a race against time in this sprawling nation of 210 million. Officially there are 4,389 people living HIV/AIDS, but the Government estimates those infected with HIV the virus that causes AIDS is closer to 130,000. No one knows for sure because the stigma surrounding HIV keeps the truth hidden, usually until too late, if at all. Poor monitoring and testing systems also contribute to the alarming lack of data and information.

So when Gordon starts to tick off some figures on drug use in Indonesia the dimensions of a potential catastrophe become immediately apparent. 

“For a start there are more than six million drug abusers in Indonesia. Of these, there are more than 300,000 intravenous drug users. In one district of Jakarta alone, called Kampung Bali, official figures have recorded 90 percent of intravenous drug users tested positive for HIV.”

He pauses to emphasize what he’s just said: “That really means they’ve all got it.”

Gordon estimates HIV infections among intravenous drug users across the city, not just in Kampung Bali, is now close to 50%.” 

“The infection rate was above 10 percent in 1999, so you get an idea of how fast the problem exploded among drug users. And while we believe the rate of increase has somewhat leveled off presently, the scale hasn’t. The virus is now spreading quickly into other cities & regional areas. So many people are using heroin, & share needles regularly or semi-regularly, and so many are also sexually active, it’s hard to find accurate numbers.”

This trend is confirmed by one of the peer group educators being trained by David and Joyce. Griska Gunaran, a 22 year old east Jakarta is former intravenous drug user. “I used everything,” she says. “A relative got me involved. I shared needles and caught Hepatitis C. From my own experience I can tell you it’s a big danger in Indonesia.”

Indonesia now has six HIV hotspots. Intravenous drug users drive epidemics in Jakarta, nearby Bandung, and the tourist destination of Bali, while commercial sex fuels epidemics in Surabaya, Makassar and Papua. (map)

If there is no immediate intervention to stop the spread, the Indonesia Ministry of Health estimates that by 2010, there will be approximately 110,000 people suffering from AIDS related diseases, or have died because of AIDS, and another one million more HIV-infected.

“We are entering dying phase,” Gordon says.

For David Gordon it’s been a long road to Indonesia. “Call it a spiritual journey or whatever, I truly feel this is where I was meant to be and do some good.”

For the impish 62 year old Californian, the journey started in the 1960’s. “Yeah it was hippie life but it ended up a lot more and a lot worse. By the early seventies I was a junkie. I used everything I could get my hands on. I got into crime, and was in jail 5 times for assorted reasons.”

He speaks matter-of-factly about events most people would prefer not to discuss openly, but Gordon seems to use his past to emphasize his mission and to give himself streetwise credence about how to deal with the problems of addiction and abuse. 

“I had a long battle in Narcotics Anonymous & Alcoholics Anonymous to escape drugs and regain control of my life. After getting clean I worked, then started a small business. It was successful. Also I went back to school. I was looking for something of value in my life. I found it helping people recover from drug addiction. I decided to sell the business and use my life helping addicts and others.”

Gordon has quizzical bewildered expression on his face as he recalls the day Indonesia entered his horizon. “In 1994 two ticketing mistakes by an airline put me in a seat next to Joyce Djaelani, and we started to talk. She was an expert on youth reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in Indonesia and was on her way to the United Nations, in New York, representing Planned Parenthood. Joyce started telling me what was going on in her country.

“A long-distance relationship began, I came to Indonesia several times, Joyce came to California a couple times, and we married a little over a year later. Then we decided I’d move to Indonesia.

“Some months after moving to Jakarta early in 1996, I read an article in the local newspaper about ‘a rehabilitation center’, and decided to do some volunteer work. On the first day there, I sat with this group of young men, shared a bit about myself, and then asked them, one by one, what drugs they were using? The first guy says ‘putaw’ (Indonesian slang for heroin), and then the second says the same. By time I got to the fifth guy I thought, my God, heroin is the drug of choice for Indonesian. Twenty of the twenty one young men there were using heroin! I knew I had to do something to help. That’s why I say - Joyce and I, and Indonesia - was meant to be.”Starting from words of mouth”, addicts and their families began dropping into the Gordon’s small home in South Jakarta, for all types of addiction related problems and crises. A community of people in recovery grew.



Three years later, in 1999, the couple helped established YAKITA with the very people whose lives were directly affected by drug addiction. Today it is those young people and their families who hold the foundation and the center in trust.

 The main YAKITA center lies at the end of a narrow rutted lane past some traditional village houses and a series of fish ponds in Bogor, a sleepy garden town on the edge of the volcanic mountain range which runs down the spine of Java.

About a dozen small neat bungalows are scattered around a half sized soccer field and an empty swimming pool.  “It was derelict when we took it over.” Gordon says.

Ford Foundation helped develop YAKITA as a ‘center for excellence’ and four years later Joyce was awarded with the Ashoka Fellowship given to Leaders of Social Change in 2003. The same year YAKITA was cited as one of the successful and effective addiction treatment, intervention and aftercare program by the UN. 

At any one time there are more than 20 young people at the center recovering. The center relies on a close knit team of former drug addicts, many co-infected with HIV and Hepatitis C, to conduct its recovery and outreach programs, including a 24/7 hotline. YAKITA has expanded over the last couple years, and has a Center in the provincial city of Makassar, and another center in Bali.

In late 2002 UNICEF’S Rachel Odede arrived from Eritrea where she had been involved in combating HIV/AIDS. One of her first initiatives was to hook-up with YAKITA. “I was attracted to YAKITA because of the Foundation’s approach to youth participation.”

The UN’s Children’s Fund in Indonesia decided to focus on two key interventions, building life skills for young people and preventing mother to child transmission. It decided to apply a number of approaches, including peer group educators, awareness campaigns, and advocating for changing school curriculums to accommodate HIV/AIDS. In Odede’s mind the key to its success was getting young people involved to the point where they would champion the issue among their friends and families.

“It’s a win win for everyone” She says. “This course at YAKITA demonstrates that. The young people are selected to participate in the program because they show interest in the issues, are good communicators, and are also very representative of the average Indonesia adolescent or young adult.

“They come here, for the most part, ignorant and naive about these issues, and most often fearful of people affected by HIV. By the time they leave they have an educated and real life understanding about the issues and people. And because the training is held at the center, the trainees see, work, and live with drug abusers / addicts - those people with viruses. They participate fully with the entire community during the training, and because of this they become highly motivated to help themselves and others.”

Peer group trainee Augustina Rahayu, a sixteen year old senior student from Bogor says she had heard about HIV but she didn’t know much. (top left photo)

“Before I was afraid of people living with HIV and I thought I could catch HIV by just being in a public place. Now I know so much more and I want to help infected people.”

Hendri Nurcahya (left middle) an 18 year old Jakartan says friends talking to friends about HIV was more effective than parents talking to kids.”

The current group of young people is the last in this round of peer group education activities. So far 4 ‘Empowered Youth’ groups {each group has 25      participants} of peer life skills educators have been trained by UNICEF and YAKITA. And each has given their own group a name. There are the ’25 Messengers’ in West Java, ‘KIPAS’ in South Sulawesi, ‘We Are Youth’ (WAY) in Bali. The group      from greater Jakarta has chosen ‘s.t.i.c.k.e.r’ (STay Informed, Care for others, KEep Involved, Reformation of Knowledge) as their name.

In the final few days of their one month course, the young people take their new found knowledge to a local high school. They take over class rooms and with confidence engage fellow students.

Griska (left bottom) tells them to stay clean. “It’s too dangerous.”

The UNICEF strategy of ‘carrying the message’ is beginning to take shape as the peer groups go back to their home towns. The young peers have now reached over 6,000 young people in schools, campuses, on the street, in hospitals, and even military training barracks in the short time they have been active.

“I’m going to introduce the issues slowly to my family,” Agustina says. “I think it will take time.”

In another aspect of the UNICEF program the YAKITA trained young people have themselves educated more than 100 other young peers through intensive three days training exercises they have learnt to conduct and facilitate on their own.

“We need to break through traditional silence and cultural taboos on matter surrounding HIV,” Joyce Djaelani says. “Indonesia is a conservative society so we are confronted with many sensitive issues of stigma and morality.

“Having peers reach out to peer is very effective in bringing down barriers. Since the young peers are confident in carrying out their message, they are able to attract not only their peers but people in the wider community,” adds Joyce.

Asked as to how the Empowered Youth (Muda Berdaya) intensive training program have impacted the lives of the young participants, Joyce replies, “all the peers felt that they have been touched personally by the training and their lives are changed for the better. Even their families and friends were commenting on the positive changes after completing the one month training”. Roosalina Wulandari, 25 and Nugroho Wiyono, 23 are finishing training at university to become psychologists and both believe the YAKITA training is critical to their future careers. (left photo)

“We didn’t get enough information about HIV at university and its going to be such a big problem.”

Roosalina adds she is worried for Indonesia. “The lack of information and shame is the main problem. We must break the taboos against talking about it.”

 “This is what life skills are all about”, says Joyce. “How young people can love and appreciate themselves, and have the skills to make good decisions affecting their lives, and additionally, to carry the message of hope to other young people, using their own voice just because they are aware and because they care. But we need all the assistance we can get to make a greater impact! Indonesia is a big country.” “It is a start,” says UNICEF’S Odede to the couple. “We need to do a lot more!”

For Odede the task doesn’t stop with YAKITA. The Fighting HIV/AIDS officer has a similar project underway in the remote east of Indonesia in the province of Papua. Here the issue is mainly sexual transmission of the disease.

Peer educators from the Centre for Indonesian Medical Students in Jakarta spent four days training students from Cendrawasih University in Jayapura in life skills.

Funded by the UNICEF’s Australian National ComPolice Commission Indonesiamittee the scheme now operates at the university and in five junior high schools. “Indonesia is on the cusp – it could go either way. I think if the Government and the international community take bold and sustained actions over the next two years we may see the rate of HIV infections flatten.” Odede then adds. “I couldn’t do this otherwise.”

Back at the Peer Group educators class, Gordon asks Odede if she has anything to say to the group? She stands and says: “I want you to improve your singing. You’re young. I want energy. I’m going to sing this song from my home country, Kenya. Repeat the words after me.” The group follows her and begins clapping in time to her song. “Come on faster now. That’s it, energy!”

A few moments later she says: “I want you to make up a song about HIV and what you have learnt here. I’m coming back next week to hear it, ok? Then I want you to take it home and sing it, ok, because music does work. You see, you are leaders. You are not leaders of tomorrow, you are leaders of today –  now - and people are going to listen to you.”

(written by John Budd / UNICEF for UNICEF)

Scanned News



History - Pre YAKITA