Our Current Project:
Project Alpha - Substance Use Prevention Program
The intended goal for this project is to educate youth (ages 15 – 30) on the risks and consequences associated with substance use. The project goes a long way in helping curb the growing substance use numbers among Zimbabwean youth, promoting human capital development, and reducing people’s poverty entrapment.
Due to the daily hardships of poverty and the country’s dire economic situation, many Zimbabwean youths face excessive stress levels, causing some to turn to substance abuse. The Voice of America (VOA) Africa, in 2015, estimated the unofficial number of substance (ab)users in Zimbabwe to be 1 million people, 6.67% of the country’s total population. The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of young Zimbabweans idle and eager to experiment with substances. This is an emergency. Substance abuse among youth imposes tremendous social, health, and economic costs on individuals, families, society, and the country’s crumbling economy.
Project Alpha recognizes the health, economic, and societal consequences of this emerging substance use epidemic in Zimbabwe and works to counter these costs. Project Alpha is an interactive targeted prevention program designed to help youth, especially high school students (ages 13 –19), to abstain from substance use. The project allows students to identify and resist pro-drug pressures and understand the consequences of substance use. Pora Health achieves this through associates-led workshops focused on motivational activities, leadership training, and career guidance delivered through group discussions, organized games, and simulation exercises. Additionally, the program takes advantage of social media to reach out to even more youths and encourage substance use abstinence.
High school students spend a lot of their time in school environments. Schools, therefore, are an excellent target setting for our efforts. Project Alpha’s school-based prevention program consists of eight workshops per academic trimester (2 workshops per month). Workshops comprise motivational activities, leadership training, stress management, intervention strategies, career guidance, and mentorship sessions. These workshops are led by a carefully selected and diverse group of local university students, known as Pora Health Associates (PHAs). PHAs roles, which are very similar to those carried out by community health workers.
Target Schools: Schools in Chitungwiza (Zengeza 2, Zengeza 3, Zengeza 4, Seke Mhuriimwe…)
Social Media Program
More than two million Zimbabwean youths spend three hours of their day on social media. Social media, there, presents another excellent platform for Pora Health to stage its substance use prevention program, Project Alpha. Therefore, the project will take advantage of social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) to reach out to youth countrywide through publishing relevant content on the subject.
Our Focus & the SDGs
Pora Health’s goals align with two sustainable development goals