Visit our Zimbabwe post week 1

08 May 2016

The First Step

The sun seems to shine continually here, there never seems to be any doubt that tomorrow will be another stonking day, however the temperature is falling to a mere 24 degrees and it feels great – I keep being told its very cold and I’ve even seen people wearing padded jackets and long boots, Brit winter styley.. they make me laugh. Its so beautiful here, another glorious day!

Image of Harare in Africa for our Drug rehabilitation centre

So, this past week has seen me visiting the Ministry of Health, talking to various people, once we’ve found them, and we now seem to have our version of the necessary Memorandum of Understanding completed.  Just an agreement from the policy dept and the Deputy Director of Mental Health and we’re done.

The Business Plan is ongoing with input now from various sources… The project is called The First Step and is being delivered by the Addiction Recovery Trust 2015. A residential rehabilitation centre is to be established in Harare and this will then enable outpatient services to be developed in the communities.  All sounds very reasonable doesn’t it? However there’s much bureaucracy to sort first and maybe even some legislation required.  On May 19 we’re arranging a fundraising presentation, so there’s lots to be done before and many discussions and agreements to be sought.  

On Wednesday we have been invited to attend a stakeholders meeting on alcohol, gender based violence and HIV from 8am to 5pm.  I’m daunted at the duration of this meeting, however to be invited demonstrates we’re considered already part of the landscape for addiction related issues, and its an honour to be included.

The tricky bit is the internet, every day I’ve been waiting for a connection to be made for me to work from the office.  Unfortunately everyday has seen me spending my days in the apartment, staring longingly out at the sunshine, laptop on knee.  This week, I am reliably informed, I will be connected.  I’m getting used to the Zimbabwean and African concept of time and time management.  A meeting arranged for 2.30pm is actually any time after 2.30pm and likely nearer 3.30pm. To arrive on time is to arrive way too early. To expect internet on Tuesday, when you’re told its being connected on Tuesday is to be naïve I’v learnt… so tomorrow I will go with trepidation, my trusty laptop under my arm….

Stakeholders meeting for addiction issues in Africa

Everything seems to be coming together for The First Step, there are committed and motivated individuals in place to drive the project forward. Tiritose are managing the Ministry’s requirements and planning the training objectives.  The Addiction Recovery Trust 2015 trustees are organising a fund raising presentation on May 19, and I shall have to make a presentation to the great and good of Harare, in a plea for their patronage and sponsorship for this altruistic venture.

Are you interested in being involved?
Would you like to spend some time training staff in Harare on residential rehab 12 Step programmes?
Are you a counsellor working in a 12 Step facility?
Are you in addiction recovery and keen to share your experience, strength and hope along with a range of other skills?

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