The Four Brothers Drug Recovery Centre has embarked on an anti-drug programme aimed at schools around East London to discourage the youth from substance abuse.
According to research done in Buffalo City, many pupils abuse substances because they are freely available, with some introduced to substances at school by their peers.
Pupils from Grades 9-11 have admitted to abusing nicotine, alcohol and marijuana.
Researchers such as Emmanuel Manu & Xavela T Maluleke say there is a need for preventative campaigns and especially mentorship in the form of anti-drug programmes.
Some of the schools visited by Four Brothers so far include Baysville School of Skills, Gonubie High School, Bellafides Private School and Logan Tutor Centre.
Siyabonga Gwe, who works at the Four Brothers Drug Recovery Centre, said the programme had a positive impact on pupils.
“They get a better understanding of what addiction is and what leads to it, as well as the pain and suffering it causes to themselves and their families.
“They also learn how to identify someone who is addicted.
“When they hear our stories, some of the kids become emotional because they can relate to our stories because someone close to them is an addict,” said Gwe.
The children are also offered the opportunity to share their thoughts and stories.
Emotions run high, with many of the children asking for help for family members who are struggling with addiction.
The Four Brothers Drug Recovery Centre was opened in 2020 and has been a safe haven for men struggling with drug addiction.
The programme was the brainchild of Sumeshan Dasram, one of the founding brothers who passed away last year.
His brother, Yeshigan, has pledged to continue his legacy and the work he has done.
“I have been clean for eight years and I will continue to do presentations at schools with the help of recovering addicts who Sumeshan passed his wisdom and knowledge on to.
“My brother felt the root of the problem lay in schools as that is where his addiction started. He will be remembered for carrying the message of hope to those who are still suffering from addiction,” said Yeshigan.
Four Brothers are open to visiting any school on request.