GEORGE NEWS - People Against Substance Abuse (Pasa) had a busy start to 2020 with an information session about gangsterism for the teachers at Van Kervel School in collaboration with the George Police.
Freddy Trout, founder of Pasa, shared about his personal experience in gangsterism and there was a question and answer session.
Later that same day, Freddy and his brother, Wayne Windvogel, also from Pasa, admitted an 18-year-old man to rehab who is from Pretoria. The following week Pasa implemented their Bound life skills programme at Friemersheim Primary School for Grade 6 and 7 learners.
This is the fourth year that Pasa is running the programme at this school. It was also implemented at Pacaltsdorp Primary for one Grade 7 class and dates are still being discussed for the rest of the Grade 7 learners.
This programme focuses on the developing teenager and points out exactly how drugs can affect development. "The lies out there about drug abuse are dealt with and alternatives are discussed with learners on how to make better choices," says Trout.
The programme also allows the learners to do group work on questions like: How can your dream for your life turn into a nightmare, how do you identify a good friend, and how do you handle rejection and difficult circumstances?
The 'big 6' or six biggest reasons why people make a choice to use drugs are also discussed. These are not the only reasons, but they are the main reasons why people, and not just youngsters, make a choice to use a drug and they are: Society, negative/low self-esteem, boredom, rebelliousness, your reality, and peer pressure.
"These reasons are discussed in great depth, and alternatives are also discussed to prove that anyone can make good choices, no matter what their circumstances look like. Since we started implementing this programme in 2010, we have seen many lives changed for the better as learners are empowered to make better choices that will shape their futures.
Pasa does not only work in schools to empower learners, but they also present a course for parents called, 'The truth about substance abuse'.
"We believe that if parents don’t talk to their children about drugs and drug abuse then someone else will do it and that is why we encourage parents to empower themselves so that they can educate their children," says Trout.
"It is often neglected and parents sometimes feel that it is the school’s responsibility to educate their children, but this is something that should start at home. Parents should also be the biggest example and role models to their children, because children often don’t do what their parents tell them, they do what their parents do."
Trout, who started Pasa in 2006, was also a drug addict for 12 years and was a gang leader for 10 of those 12 years and he has a lot of knowledge and experience about drugs, addiction, and gangsterism. He says, "We believe that someone who has come through the cycle of addiction and abuse is the best person to learn from."
Windvogel, who works with Trout in Pasa, also has a 10 year addiction behind him and was also part of a gang for a few years.
Parents interested in attending the parents' course may contact the Pasa office on 044 150 0007 or send an e-mail to email@example.com or whatsapp Wayne on 071 469 9353. The cost is only R150 per person and includes a manual and refreshments.
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