After his appointment a month ago as police chief, Col. Gregory Coleman launched a hundred day operation to rid Monrovia and its environs of criminals, drug users and wayward youth.
The exercise resulted in the destruction of the notorious Turtle Base in Red-Light, Paynesville, the enclave of hardened criminals in Monrovia.
Scores of delinquents, drug users, and abandoned street youths have been arrested in several police raids across Monrovia.
In that direction, WATS Foundation Liberia (WAFOL), a humanitarian outfit, has embarked on a voluntary initiative to rehabilitate drug addicts, criminals and abandoned youth across the country.
A year ago, Mrs. Watta Holmes, the Chief Executive Officer of WAFOL and a team of other committed Liberians started a campaign to recruit and rehabilitate drug addicts and criminals from the notorious Turtle Base and other criminal hideouts in Monrovia.
According to Mrs. Holmes, the rehabilitation program set up at a camp in the Cotton Tree Community in Margibi County is intended to transform young Liberians who were being destroyed by drugs and other harmful substances into productive citizens.
Early last week, WAFOL graduated 26 former drug users who underwent a six-month rehabilitation program at the Cotton Tree camp.
Speaking at the program, beneficiary Julius Mator called on Liberians to stand up with one voice against people who are importing narcotics and other harmful substances into the country.
Mr. Mator also called on the government to formulate harsh laws that would put a halt to the use of harmful drugs.
He said the workforce of Liberia is gradually being eaten up by narcotics and noted that if nothing is done to arrest the situation the future of the country would be compromised.
He urged the Liberian government to reinforce the fight against drug abuse and the importation of narcotic substances into the country.
In an emotional testimony, graduate and mother of five Tina Fawaz, said she abandoned her children and lived in a ghetto for several years.
“I lived on drugs and thought I was enjoying my life. But thank God I have been rehabilitated by WAFOL,” Ms. Fawaz said.
She cautioned mothers whose children use drugs not to give up on them, and but continue praying for them because “there is nothing that God cannot do.”
Seamus Hollywood, another reformed young man and a father of three children, said because of illicit drugs, his family abandoned him and he lost many relationships. He said he lost a lot of opportunities and his mind because of drugs.
WAFOL’s Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Watta Holmes extended her gratitude to God and her family for giving her the support to assist the nation’s unfortunate, drug abusers.
Mrs. Holmes said WATS Foundation Liberia (WAFOL) has the expertise to rehabilitate drug users and criminals, but noted that the institution does not have adequate financial resources to cater to more of these youths into its program.
She appealed to the government and philanthropists to assist her in transforming youth throughout the country who have become drug abusers.
“To run this place is not easy. Sometimes it gets so tough, but by the grace of God, my phone would ring and somebody would say, ‘I have a half bag of rice for the program,’ or ‘I have two bags,’ and so on. That’s how we are gradually making it here,” Mrs. Holmes revealed.
She said, in spite of the lack of external support, WAFOL will remain committed to rehabilitating drug abusing youths in Liberia.