Michael Koilor, Program Coordinator, for the ‘Second Chance Rehabilitation Program (SCRP)’ under the auspices of the Faith Healing and Deliverance Ministry (FHDM), has said that addiction is becoming a global health crisis that needs serious attention.
Mr. Koilor made the assertions on March 19, 2021, when the Faith Healing and Delivery Ministry reached out to more than 500 disadvantaged youths (Zogos) at two different locations in Paynesville.
The purpose of the outreach was intended to create awareness about the harmful use of drugs and to restore human dignity, create hope for young people who society has to consider as Zogos.
Speaking earlier to a cross-section of disadvantaged youths at the Goba-chop Field around Paynesville Red-Light, Mr. Koilor said many people feel that these disadvantaged youths are less important in society and therefore society has created an avenue where their life is no longer secured. “So, we as a Church thought it was important to reach out to them through the love of God in this direction.”
He said the proliferation of drugs across Africa, especially West Africa, is alarming and leaders in the sub-region must be proactive to combat the issue of drugs.
According to him, the sub-region is currently the hub of drug trafficking and is reaching a higher scale. “So it means that we from the sub-region will be victims if the government, civil society organizations (CSOs), donor partners do not see this as a crisis,” he said.
Narrating the Church’s own role in the fight against the issues of drug in Liberia, Koilor disclosed that the church has the program called “Second Chance Rehabilitation Program.”
The program, he said, is intended to rehabilitate and reintegrate disadvantaged youths in society. This initiative, he said, started on May 30, 2017, when the Church made its first outreach to the Mozambique Ghetto in Soul clinic community in Paynesville with a weekly feeding program.
According to him, when they first initiated the program, it was not yielding its desire results because those less fortunate were not going to the center where they had the program.
He indicated that the program has targeted 136 persons on the first intake with the second 96 people.
“Looking at the number statistically; it will tell you that Liberia has a growing mark when it comes to the issue of drug addiction, the demand for drugs is on the increase daily because we don’t have the tools and technical know-how to put a mechanism in place as a way to prevent this,” he added.
He noted that the program was initiated the church has about 36 disadvantaged youths, who according to him have been rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society. Mr. Koilor also disclosed that many of them obtained training and skills, while others were empowered financially to be able to get back into their communities to become an agent of change. “Right now some of them are business owners.”
However, Mr. Koilor described them as victims of circumstances because they are not the main perpetrator of the crime. “We as people and Church we think coming together to do this is a good start.”
At the same time, he said the church is currently working with stakeholders and other international partners to work things out for support because the program is self-sustained without an external support.
Meanwhile, the program, he noted, is sponsored by the Founder and General Overseer of the FHDM (Evangelist Paye V. Bagnon Jr.). “We have no partners and are looking forward to an international organization to help make this program a sustainable one,” he stated.
He, however, said the church is anticipating the purchase of 50 acres of land for the construction of a rehabilitation center to accommodate a large number of less fortunate. The young Minister of the Gospel said the mental capacity of Liberians has over the years depreciated that if nothing is done they will become a serious problem to the society.