A young entrepreneur in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya has a vision of his friends and neighbors living drug-free. Drug use is rampant in all Kenyan slums and Korogocho is no exception. Services are available to only a small fraction of those who want to find treatment.
Servant Forge supported Blue Cross and Brian Odour, a young entrepreneur, for the Medical Camp and Home Detoxification program. This was a two day workshop with a 30 day follow-up period. The audience was those living on Korogocho interested in stopping their dependency on drugs. The two days provided information on health and other key issues. The 30-day follow-up period was supported by community health workers, counseling, and other key detoxification components.
The two-day event had a remarkable outcome. Only 40 patients were initially targeted, but the team recorded a high of 59 patients. Out of the 59, 20 of them met for three weeks and almost ten had remained dry through counseling for the three weeks. The remaining 39 appeared in the two days of the camp.
Some key outcomes of this effort are not only the ten people who remained drug free, but also the relationships being built with Ministry of Health officials and the positive reception of radio publicity. Many challenges lay ahead for Blue Cross and the Korogocho slum, but systematic, locally-driven approaches are being explored with success.
With funding from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPs) at the U.S. Department of Justice, Servant Forge Fellows facilitated Methamphetamine: The National Summit to Promote Public Health, Partnerships, and Safety for Critically Affected Populations.
This initiative focused on providing services to incarcerated populations, those involved in the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, and women by removing barriers to service and treatment and creating prevention opportunities.
Servant Forge Fellows James Copple, Colleen Copple, and Beth Mattfeld are working on projects to train state and community leaders on prevention, enforcement, and treatment strategies that respond to binge drinking and risky behavior. They are currently involved in projects at the University of Louisville and Bloomsburg State University and are also working with state leaders in Arizona, Indiana, and Alaska.
Servant Forge Fellow and Strategic Applications International principal James E. Copple has been appointed by the Mayor to the City of Alexandria Gang Task Force and chairs the sub-committee on drop out prevention. This sub-committee is developing recommendations on transforming the way schools respond to potential drop outs and engaging innovative and creative solutions that will keep young people in school and away from gangs and gang violence.