As told to Walter Echesa by Aaron
Over the past several years, our Public Health program has expanded its services to youth and teenagers in the community. Whether it is through the school health lectures, the HopeCore youth center or during community health pop-up clinics, our Public Health team is constantly reaching out to the younger generations to offer much-needed guidance and support with difficult situations. One
My name is Aaron. I am 17 years old form 3 boy from St. Daniels Boys Kithitu. I grew up in the catholic church. Well, not literally but I grew up serving in the church as an altar boy. By the time I was in standard 8, I was the head altar boy. I live with a single mother in South C area in Nairobi. My dad passed on when I was standard 6 due to Tuberculosis. My sister suffered from the same but she was lucky to recover
I sat for my primary certificate exams and passed well with 335/500 marks. Due to my good behaviour and the potential I had, my home church father decided to sponsor me through high school at St. Daniels Boys School.
I first started engaging in drugs when I was in form 1 during half term of the first term. Friends who were also in form 1 came back and told me to try out. They said they were ‘cool stuff’. They would make me bright and pass exams in school. We injected ourselves. We used the same needle and syringe. We also took tablets. I didn’t know what drugs they were. At first I felt dizzy. Then I started feeling ‘high’. I became so addicted that a day would not end without injecting myself with the drugs. we would meet in a field, inject ourselves and everyone would go their way. I never bought the drugs. they were all supplied by my richer friends. When schools resumed, I carried the tablets to school
My mother started suspecting that I was into drugs but I assured her I was okay. Then word soon reached father who was sponsoring me. My school principal who is a catholic father too started suspecting me. They tried talking to me. I told them I was okay. That I had heard and would heed their advice. But I would go back to my drugs. My performance in school hit rock bottom. Sometimes I came last in class
When I was in form two, Village HopeCore came to our school with health education. That day Boscow, the HopeCore Health educator talked about drug abuse. He seemed to be talking about me. I felt he had come to school to talk specifically to me. After the talk, I approached him and told him my addiction problem. He counselled me and showed me the demerits of what I was doing.
After counselling, I left school and went back home. For a whole year I didn’t go to school. I thought I was finished. That all was remaining of my life was drugs. I abused drugs. But all the time, I was thinking on that session with Boscow. He had said I could recover and be normal again
Sometime when I was still at home, one of my drug friends was arrested. I knew I was next. So when father, the school principal, sent for me again, I came back to school and embarked on my journey to recovery. People talked to me; The principal, the deputy, my class teacher, Boscow. I stopped using drugs. Fortunately, I had no withdrawal symptoms. My drug friends threatened me. They feared I would give them away to the authorities but all I wanted was for them to reform.
Today, I have completely stopped using drugs. I have left my drug gang. My academic performance has since improved. I am in top 15 in my class. I want to work hard and join university and study law. I know how to get there, I will work hard, keep the right group of friends. I talk to the principal whenever I don’t have school fees and my mom is struggling. Because I want to remain in school. It pains me that I hurt my mom so bad with my behaviour.
I am proud of my progress so far. I have joined the health club at school because I want to use my experience to teach others. To save other youth who are undergoing drug addiction problem.
I would like to thank the school for supporting me far. And