Every parent worries about their teenagers. Kuda Vana is no different. Decades of corruption, economic crisis and chronic unemployment have wreaked havoc on the most vulnerable population, children. And we are worried.
According to some estimates, half of Zimbabwe’s young people are addicted to some kind of drug, including a popular form of cough syrup known as BronCleer. While the drug was officially banned in the country four years ago, it is smuggled in in large quantities from neighboring South Africa and is simple to get. BronCleer can be purchased for as little as $5 on most street corners, school yards and in bars. A cheap and attainable high, it is an easy escape for teens who struggle to envision a future for themselves in a country with 95% unemployment.
A recent documentary by VICE has highlighted the problem on a global scale - you can view it HERE. The good news is that there are reports that since it aired, the Zimbabwean government has announced plans to launch rehab centers across the country. We can hope this is the case, although it does not fix the underlying problem of hopelessness and peer pressure that leads young people to this behavior.
Please continue to pray for our staff as we help our children navigate the tricky and often treacherous path to self-sufficient and happy adulthood.