News

    Drug Trafficking Leads to Addiction Problems in Guinea Bissau

    Guinea-Bissau drug treatment center struggles with flood of addicts

    Karamba Kebe is one of 55 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics living at Desavio Jovem,  the only drug treatment center in Guinea Bissau
    Karamba Kebe is one of 55 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics living at Desavio Jovem, the only drug treatment center in Guinea Bissau

    Multimedia

    Fid Thompson

    During the past three years, the tiny West African country of Guinea-Bissau has become a key transit point for cocaine traffickers shipping drugs to Europe.  That has led to a rise in the number of crack-cocaine addicts in Guinea-Bissau. Those struggling to quit drugs face an uphill struggle in a country with few medical resources. 

    Karamba Kebe is jittery and restless. This is his second week at Desavio Jovem, a drug rehabilitation center in Guinea-Bissau.

    Kebe says he was deported from Portugal after he was caught selling drugs.
    "I got into trouble because I was working in the drugs business. I got caught and they sent me back here.  So I returned to Africa with nothing.  My family took me in despite everything and helped me to find people here who could treat my drug problem," he said.

    Kebe is one of 55 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics living at Desavio Jovem,  the only drug treatment center in Guinea Bissau.

    Between 2005 and 2007, 33 tons of cocaine were seized in Guinea Bissau.  The United Nations estimates 27 percent of the cocaine consumed in Europe passes through West Africa.

    Father Domingos Té established Desavio Jovem in 2002.  He says the crack-cocaine epidemic is destroying his country's youth. "They are using drugs in the form of crack.  This causes so many social problems - some use violence, some steal to get money to buy these drugs," he said. "This is a huge worry because more and more of our young people are consuming [crack] cocaine."

    The center helps addicts get off drugs through a faith-based, residential rehabilitation program.

    At Desavio Jovem, six staff members have been trained in counseling, but there are no psychologists, no doctors and no medicine.  All that is offered is guidance, a mattress and meals.

    Augostinho Té, a cousin of Father Domingos Té, is a former drug addict who now works at Desavio Jovem.  Despite its meager resources, he says the center saved his life. "The people here in the center welcomed me and educated me.  Now I have a family and a home.  I am living a happy life.  I would not have accomplished that without the center," he said.

    But, with few resources and a flood of cocaine passing through Guinea Bissau, many young people face an uphill struggle to free themselves from drugs.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.